For many years, car and aviation enthusiasts have been fantasizing about ‘flying cars.’ However, trying to make a flying car reality will take a lot of work, whether it is related to aerospace regulation or simply creating something that could be considered a flying car. Now, it seems that companies are not far from launching them; the future may be closer than we thought.
One company is thinking it is a past using advanced aircraft as a replacement for passenger cars and instead, turning its attention to racing. A young Australian company Alauda Racing has revealed its electric Airspeeder flying race cars with a top speed of 124mph at the Goodwood Festival of Speed and is planned for launch in 2020.
The new Airspeeder – looks like a cross between a giant drone and a go-kart with space for a pilot on board – was flown by remote control above the festival in Sussex, which started on 4th July.
Each craft weighs 250kg and can carry a pilot weighing up to 100kg. The vehicles will have the top speed of 124mph (200km/h) and will fly an average 4 meters off the ground when racing. It comes with the four sets of twin 32-inch rotors, making eight rotor blades in all and hence the vehicle is also called as an ‘octocopter.’ It claims ‘a power-to-weight ratio superior to an F-18 fighter jet.’
The aircraft, developed by an Australian start-up Alauda Racing, has a 500kW battery pack that lasts for just 15 minutes before needing recharging or replacing.
The company says the Airspeeder racing series will combine the format of Formula E, the thrills of air racing and the glamor of F1.
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“Flying cars are no longer a fantasy, they are a reality and Goodwood Festival of Speed is the perfect place to introduce Airspeeder to the world,” says Matt Pearson, founder, and CEO of Alauda Racing, and the driving force behind the Airspeeder race series. “We’ve taken design cues from the golden era of racing, and we’re sure the tens of thousands of enthusiasts present will instantly appreciate this evolution of motorsport. Totally absorbing, and all electric, it will appeal to a whole new generation of race fans.”
The team is planning to kick start production with a series of airborne Grand Prix of the skies from next year. They plan to use this as a spring-board to selling the electric vertical take-off and landing flying cars to individuals as ‘flying sports cars’ costing tens of thousands of pounds each.