The newly formed electric flying vehicle racing league, Airspeeder, successfully completed its first competitive test in South Australia. The contest put two teams from Alauda Aeronautics, the company manufacturing the prototypes, head-to-head as an early development series of the eVTOL Grand Prix in 2022 and a global competition league by 2023.
This expedition marks not only the first eVTOL race, but also a turning point in the pre-season testing. Airspeeder has been working at full speed, since only a few weeks ago performed the first flight of the octocopter and a few days later a dual test to visualize how the two cars behaved in the air. Now, the company presents to the world this competition to bring the dream of seeing racing in the skies.
The Speeders are operated remotely by pilots who sit in ground-based cockpits and use virtual reality first-person view (FPV) suits to control the eVTOL aircraft.
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These development races are vital as the nascent league looks to enter its next phase, called the Airspeeder EXA Series, the first official competition for the tournament.
Like the recent endurance race, the EXA Series will also use remote piloting. However, it will consist of four teams competing in three international events in fully electric vehicle grid.
Close to Glory
“We are about to make motorsports and mobility history with the world’s first electric flying car races,” said Matthew Pearson, director of Airspeeder.
He assured that this event offers the world a glimpse into the next generation of motorsport and mobility, and represents an important moment in the creation of the sport, as well as being a major step forward for the development of electric flying cars.
While these will be larger races compared to endurance racing, the EXA GPs will still act as a technical and driver training ground before Airspeeder begins its first races.
The series plans to launch the official league in 2023 and have ten teams from around the world compete with pilots in the Speeders.
“Airspeeder is based on the philosophy that nothing drives technical progress faster than sports competition. Next-generation sport plays the same role as the pioneers of Formula One almost a century ago, by driving technical development and generating public acceptance of a new mobility revolution,” the new category said in a statement.
They added that the eVTOL sector is poised to transform urban air transport, global logistics and even remote medical transport with a clean, zero-emission air transit solution.
Airspeeder is currently in its Series A funding round and already has investments from partners including NVIDIA and Telstra.