Today, Airspeeder proudly echo the legacies of automotive and aviation pioneers like Enzo Ferrari, Karl Benz, John Alcock and Arthur Brown in making history through the first flights of a full-scale electric flying racing car, the remotely-piloted Alauda Mk3.
These historic first flights have taken place at undisclosed test locations in the deserts of South Australia under the observation of Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). Throughout the development process, the Alauda team has worked with the regulator to ensure compliance to all required procedures while developing robust safety protocols. The successful execution of these flights means that uncrewed electric flying car Grand Prixs will take place in 2021 at three soon-to-be-revealed international locations.
These races will see elite pilots drawn from aviation, motorsport and eSports backgrounds to remotely pilot the world’s only racing electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) craft. These pilots will remotely control their Speeders in races across electronically governed, Augmented Reality enabled sky-tracks. Audiences will watch via digital streams that show the full dynamic potential of vehicles that have greater thrust-to-weight ratio than a F15 fighter jet.
"WE ARE PROUD TO MAKE HISTORY BY INTRODUCING THE WORLD’S FIRST RACING SERIES FOR FLYING ELECTRIC CARS." - MATT PEARSON - AIRSPEEDER AND ALAUDA, FOUNDER
These races will rapidly hasten the arrival of eVTOL advanced air mobility craft. This technology, predicted by Morgan Stanley to be worth $1 trillion by 2040 is already finding potent applications in air logistics and remote medical care and has the potential to liberate cities from congestion though clean-air passenger applications like air taxis.
By creating the world’s first racing series for electric flying cars, Alauda Aeronautics takes a leadership position in this generation’s defining mobility revolution. It does this by providing a place and a space to rapidly accelerate the development of the key safety, performance and dynamics technologies that will underpin the growth of eVTOL transportation.
“EXA DELIVERS ON THE PROMISE OF A FUTURE FIRST SHOWN IN SCIENCE FICTION. WE ARE PROUD TO INTRODUCE A SPORT THAT REDEFINES WHAT HUMANS AND MACHINES CAN ACHIEVE TOGETHER." - MATT PEARSON - AIRSPEEDER AND ALAUDA, FOUNDER
EXA is Airspeeder’s first racing series. Up to four teams with two remote pilots per team will compete in three individual events across the globe through 2021. They will race ‘blade-to-blade’ over locations inaccessible to traditional motorsport. Audiences will tune-in through global streams available on-demand. This approach reflects the changing requirements of global audiences, in particular a generation native to streaming and the ability to interact directly with the content generators they follow.
A pre-season will soon be announced and will take the form of an internal drag-race style competition between two distinct ‘works teams’ drawn from within Alauda. These final test events will serve as an important technical and strategic shake-down before external teams are invited to prove their competitive edge against the creators of the sport.
The Alauda Aeronautics Mk3 EXA race-craft are remotely piloted by highly skilled women and men. They take a seat in a simulator environment that mimics the dynamics and ergonomics of the Mk3 cockpit environment. From there they control the vehicle in exactly the same way as a pilot located in the cockpit with finger-tip commands sent instantly to the physical Speeder as it plots a series of courses dictated by electronic sky-tracks. Each Alauda Aeronautics Mk3 is presented to teams with identical specification, meaning it is pilot skill and team strategy that will determine race-winners. This will ensure the close competition traditional motorsport fans crave.
Physical tele-robotic avatars named ‘The Aviators’ sit within the cockpit environment of the Mk3. They have been designed to represent the frame of human pilots. This will provide engineers with critical data and information on the effects of high speed racing, rapid turning, acceleration and deceleration on the human frame. This will accelerate Airspeeder’s progression to human piloted races which are scheduled in 2022.
EXA will remain the proving ground for the Airspeeder crewed racing series, providing a vital technical test-bed for teams and the perfect space to develop pilot skills. This means Airspeeder is able to draw its pilots and crew from a wide range of backgrounds including eSports as they can undertake the necessary training on the dynamics of an electric flying race car in a remote environment. In legacy motorsport terms, EXA will take its place as the feeder series for crewed Airspeeder races in the forthcoming Alauda Mk4.
Every Airspeeder race includes rapid pit stops. To facilitate this, Alauda’s engineers have developed an innovative ‘slide and lock’ system for the swift removal and replacement of batteries when on the ground. Intense internal competition between in-house pit-crews has driven the pitstop time down to just 20 seconds, which is entirely comparable with any form of ground-based legacy motorsport. This is expected to continue to fall. For context, a Formula 1 pitstop used to take more than a minute.