Airspeeder carries out world's first eVTOL drag race
Around four months after sharing footage of its flying car's first test flights in Australia, Alauda Aeronautics has now carried out the world's first eVTOL drag race, albeit with no humans onboard. A pair of remotely piloted Airspeeder Mk3 aircraft were flown down an aerial drag strip as part of pre-season preparations, ahead a full-blown F1-style air race series slated for later in the year.
We first caught wind of Alauda Aeronautics ambitions around flying car racing back in 2017, with the startup outlining a plan to usher in the era of urban air mobility by fostering innovation through high-speed and high-risk aerial racing.
The test flights that took place back in June saw the Mk3 octocopter take to the air over a South Australian desert for the first time. These carbon-fiber-bodied aircraft can fly from 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 2.8 seconds and are designed to reach altitudes of 500 m (1,640 ft).
The latest outing for the Mk3 saw two of them pitted against one another in an aerial drag race, each piloted by a team of Alauda Aeronautics engineers. The course was a short one, at just 300 m (984 ft), but saw the pair rise to an altitude of 15 m (50 ft) and the leading craft reach a top speed of 155 km/h (96 mph), with Team Bravo leading Team Alpha across the finish line.
The fully fledged Airspeeder race series will see up to four teams each with with two pilots, who will race the aircraft "blade-to-blade" around an electronically governed, AR-enabled sky track. These will be hosted at different locations around the world and streamed online, and according to Alauda, are still scheduled to kick off in 2021.
You can check out the pre-season drag race in the video below.
Source: Alauda Aeronautics