alauda unveils its airspeeder mk3, the world’s first flying electric racing car
Feb 07, 2021
the world’s first fully functioning electric flying racing car has come to life with the alauda-designed airspeeder mk3. full-sized and remotely-operated, the electric vertical take-off and landing vehicle (eVTOL) will race in remotely piloted airspeeder competitions in 2021. this first racing series will stand as a technical test-bed and feeder series to a manned racing series in 2022. the vehicle‘s unveiling represents over three years development work, promising a sport that will accelerate a new clean-air aerial mobility revolution.
a full grid of mk3 electric flying race-craft is currently being manufactured at airspeeder and alauda’s technical headquarters in adelaide, australia. over ten identical racing vehicles will be created and distributed to teams in 2021. the flying racing car is being developed and manufactured by a team drawn from leading names in aerospace, automotive and motorsport technology including mclaren, babcock aviation, boeing, jaguar, land rover, rolls-royce, and brabham. while the racing series is soon to be announced, the remotely-piloted races will introduce close-quarter flying circuit racing at speeds of more than 120 km/h (75 mph).
alauda’s airspeeder mk3 represents a huge technical advancement in the development of the world’s first racing series for electric flying cars. this remotely-piloted vehicle is the final iteration of an electric flying racing car before the introduction of the manned racing craft, the airspeeder mk4, which will debut in 2022. the mk3 will be operated by an expert remote operator from the ground, and features a suite of technologies and engineering elements never before seen on an eVTOL craft. these innovations will be validated in this first unmanned phase and include LiDAR and radar collision avoidance systems that create a ‘virtual forcefield’ around the craft to ensure close but ultimately safe racing. the mk3 features a carbon fiber frame and fuselage chosen for its strength, stiffness and lightweight properties, which ensures maneuverability, performance and efficiency.
the mk3 speeders are laid-out in an ‘octocopter x formation’. this provides significant advantages to pilots in terms of maneuverability and stability. when racing the pilot will be able to make the same sharp hairpin style turns as a formula 1 car but with the added third dimension of being able to move vertically. the octocopter configuration also adds an important measure of vehicle redundancy and will ensure the craft can safely land and remain in control should a rotor or battery system fail.
airspeeder and alauda aeronautics founder matthew pearson comments: ‘the unveiling of the world’s first full-sized electric flying racing car is a landmark moment in the dawn of a new mobility revolution. it is competition that drives progress and our racing series is hastening the arrival of technology that will transform clean-air passenger transport, logistics and even advanced air mobility for medical applications. the world’s first electric flying car races will take place this year and will be the most exciting and progressive motorsport on the planet.’
They don’t have their prop pods rotated into the direction of flight but instead they pitch the entire craft fuselage’s top into the wind very inefficiently. Is this a racing rule book regulation? If not it greatly lowers speed potential and shows that it is not real serious racing. I understand that small drones meant to hover in VTOL etc are then raced unmodified as an existing aircraft. If helicopters raced at least their fuselage is streamlined for horizontal flight for efficient speed as a goal to maximize fuel mileage. Why create a new platform just designed for racing so inefficiently? It shows it is largely bogus without streaming the body for top into wind fluid dynamic form. The body lift potential is negative pushing the craft down which also eats up more stored energy as props pull against it. Imagine if F1 cars had to do lift their body up at the rear 6ft and then force that large top surface into the wind and try to go fast. Yawn,,,
Will the airspeeder racing rules allow rotating the prop pods forward so the fuselage top wont have to fly topside into the wind, a highly inefficient aerodynamic. They look stupid design streamlined for horizontal flight but then they fly topside forward.
This isnt the first. DRL has its own that has been piloted already (https://newatlas.com/aircraft/drone-champions-league-dcl-aerobatic-manned-drone/). also as a drone pilot, I’ll say that the frame is a bit concerning, its what we would call a “stretch X” because of how the props are, but the problem is, they are so close to the body side that it will make rolls/strafing (X axis) more unstable/harder to control because of the smaller “air leverage”. however because of the length the pilots will have better tilt (Y axis) control. Personally, I would make the arms a bit wider or give them the ability to extend out a bit more for better control.
But maybe its just the way the pictures are taken and it would be fine. the nose does extend out a bit far though too, idk just a bit weird. Anyway till we get to buy these things, ill have to stick to FPV drones and D.R.O.N.E. The Game
far out !!! and beautiful !!! I WANT ONE
The open counter spinning propellers seem a bit dangerous in close proximity to other vehicles when considering safety and possibly equipment malfunctions. Also the use of properly designed shrouds should increase the forced volume of air, reduce motor temperature, and provide some safety but may require some alternative design to improve manueverability. Controlling propeller pitch might help.