Although we might be several decades away from the ubiquitous flying car urban commutes of The Jetsons, the setback is more of an issue of infrastructure than it is automotive technology. In the racing world, such a feat is more plausible due to the inherent limitations required for any sport.
A few years back, Matt Pearson, CEO of Alauda Aeronautics, set out to develop Airspeeder racing, which is essentially a drag race in the sky. The first contest in 2021 consisted of remotely-piloted vehicles, with the first official season kickstarting last year. However, Alauda has just launched the first big step in getting a physical person into the cockpit.
The Airspeeder Mk4 is not only the world’s fastest vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicle but will be the first crewed version of the company’s flying race car. With a top speed of 225mph and a driving range of 188mi, the aircraft will be powered by a 1,340hp Thunderstrike Hydrogen Turbogenerator and feature an AI flight controller and gimballed thrust system allowing it to handle like a Formula 1 car.
Publically unveiled on March 7 at the Southstart innovation festival in South Australia, the Airspeeder Mk4 is currently taking team entries for races scheduled for 2024.