Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Meet Airspeeder Mk4, world’s fastest hydrogen-fueled eVTOL aircraft

Alauda Aeronautics has unveiled the Airspeeder Mk4, the first crewed version of its flying racing car. The Airspeeder Mk4, designed and built in Adelaide, South Australia, is the world’s fastest hydrogen electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft.

It’s designed to set the bar for performance and technology in the radical new sport of piloted Airspeeder racing. This now opens the door to OEM teams to join Airspeeder in a motorsport revolution, as it unveils the world’s first and fastest crewed flying racing car for performance sports.

The Airspeeder Mk4 racing eVTOL measures 5.73 meters long, 3.62 meters wide, and 1.44 meters high and has a take-off weight (MTOW) of just 950 kg (2,094 lb). The one-person electric racing machine is capable of reaching a top speed of 360 km/h (225 mph) in just 30 seconds from a standing start. It is also extremely efficient, with a projected range of 300km (188 miles) while producing near-zero emissions.

Airspeeder crewed Mk4 rear view.
Airspeeder crewed Mk4 rear view. Credit: Alauda Aeronautics

The aircraft is powered by a 1,000 kW (1,340 horsepower) turbogenerator, which feeds power to the batteries and motors. Specifically designed for use in eVTOLs, this revolutionary technology allows green hydrogen to be used as fuel, providing safe, reliable, and sustainable power over long distances and flight times.

According to the company, the technology also has the potential to significantly reduce emissions and create a sustainable future for individual air travel.

Unlike most eVTOLs that use tilt-rotors to steer, the Mk4 has a gimbaled thrust system. It has an Artificial Intelligence (AI) flight controller that adjusts four rotor pairs mounted on the 3D-printed gimbals.

“We, and the world, are ready for crewed flying car racing,” said Matt Pearson, the CEO of Alauda Aeronautics. “We have built the vehicles, developed the sport, secured the venues, and attracted the sponsors and technical partners. Now is the time for the world’s most progressive, innovative, and ambitious automotive brands, OEM manufacturers, and motorsport teams to be part of truly revolutionary new motorsport. In unveiling the crewed Airspeeder Mk4, we show the vehicles that will battle it out in blade-to-blade racing crewed by the most highly-skilled pilots in their fields.”

The company said that the first crewed races would happen in 2024. The initial unmanned races, with remote-control pilots, were successfully taken place last year.