Aircraft

Hydrogen-electric flying car looks to take F1 racing airborne

Hydrogen-electric flying car l...
MACA hopes to develop a semi-autonomous, human-piloted H2 racing copter
MACA hopes to develop a semi-autonomous, human-piloted H2 racing copter
View 4 Images
MACA hopes to develop a semi-autonomous, human-piloted H2 racing copter
1/4
MACA hopes to develop a semi-autonomous, human-piloted H2 racing copter
MACA hopes to get its Carcopters racing over the track by 2023
2/4
MACA hopes to get its Carcopters racing over the track by 2023
MACA Carcopter rendering
3/4
MACA Carcopter rendering
MACA Carcopter side-view rendering
4/4
MACA Carcopter side-view rendering
View gallery - 4 images

Car racing is quickly evolving to embrace new technologies through series like Formula E and Extreme E. It may even find a home on the Moon in the near future. French startup MACA is looking to add flying cars to the list of emerging technologies actively competing in racing, developing a rather insect-like eVTOL race car designed to lap circuits around the world. Its Carcopter is no drone, manned by a human driver pushing the hydrogen-fed electric-driven craft to speeds over 150 mph ... or so MACA hopes, anyway.

MACA is still in the early development stages, but its ambitious plans call for a slim-bodied, 16.4-foot-long (5-m) eVTOL racer with room for a single pilot. Six 35-kW electric motors would lift the light aircraft off the ground and send it soaring forward at speeds up to 153 mph (246 km/h). Using plenty of carbon fiber, MACA intends to keep weight below 1,323 lb (600 kg) and employ an F1-like dedication to aerodynamic optimization, ensuring the Carcopter zips quickly and nimbly around the racing circuit. Semi-autonomous pilot assistance would help keep the vessel proceeding safely toward the finish line.

MACA hopes to get its Carcopters racing over the track by 2023
MACA hopes to get its Carcopters racing over the track by 2023

MACA opts for a hydrogen fuel system instead of a trendier pure battery-electric drive to optimize range while still offering zero tailpipe emissions. Refining its systems through racing, it hopes to eventually design hydrogen-based eVTOL commuters capable of intercity travel.

The company was founded by fighter pilot Thierry de Boisvilliers and Airbus Helicopters exec Michael Krollak. Team members have been organizing for the past several years and officially launched as MACA last year ahead of participation at this year's virtual CES. The company plans to have its first demonstrator ready to fly by the end of 2021, before another CES appearance in 2022. It will move forward with testing and development from there, with hopes of having the Carcopter certified and ready to race by late 2022.

There's still a whole lot of work and optimism between the present moment and an all-new, unprecedented breed of air racing, so we wouldn't get too excited for a 2023 Carcopter season. But it's a fascinating proposition we'll be keeping an eye on.

The 40-second clip below is mostly marketing fluff and buzzwords, but it's what MACA has to show at this point.

MACA CARCOPTER, First hydrogen flying Formula 1 (with pilot on board) teaser2021

Source: MACA

View gallery - 4 images
11 comments
Towerman
NOW Were Talkin' ! ! !
WHY aren't they flying already ! ! !
Signguy
Interesting, but that was NOT a flying car video.
kdone
Every F1 Drivers nightmare.. being airborne and out of control. CGi model looks cool though :) I'll love to believe it when I see it. Good luck.
Nelson Hyde Chick
Car racing is popular because people drive and they want to finitize about driving fast, few among us are pilots, so this thing is dead on arrival.
Towerman
@Kdone Clearly you can't make up head from tales here, you are in FULL control of your F1 EVTOL sorry for you, you clearly have no sense of how exciting and adrenaletic this is, this is the EVOLUTION of F1 and NOTHING CAN STOP IT !!!!!!!!!!!

@Nelson Hyde Chick
No you are wrong people drive cars because they are fast, but if they can fly FAST, driving will be a thing the men at the old man's marbles club hustle's about every sunday morning. NOTHING will be more exciting than F1 EVTOL RACING ! ! ! !
Grunchy
This is just stupid.
Lamar Havard
Driving is risky enough, imagine when vertical is added in!
Arcticshade
@grunchy, stupid for those who is scared of the thrill and excitement of the coming revolution !
@Lamar, Anything that move is risky, and thats why it is so exciting, the vertical aspect and the sense of flying is priceless, see reno racing ! !
Bob Flint
No Nature impact, really just the buzz alone, or wait didn't hear it because it's vaporware. Going to donate the water to those that have none?
ljaques
Cool styling. Let's see about performance: 6x35/.746 works out to 281.5hp. Notta Whole Lotta.
I'd bet 10:1 odds that they're about as fleet in turns as a MegaBot. Call me when they reach Real Steel speeds and agility, eh?