Airspeeder unveils flying F1 car for piloted racing

Airspeeder Mk4, intended for racing with a pilot on board

Remember the Airspeeder? The racing car shaped drone that flew out of control during a demo at Goodwood in 2019, eventually topping out at airliner levels before falling to earth near Chichester? It’s come on a bit since then and this year is about to launch flying car races – with a pilot on board.

Alauda Aeronautics has unveiled the Airspeeder Mk4, calling it the world’s first, and fastest, crewed flying car.

Designed and built in Adelaide, South Australia, the Airspeeder Mk4 is the world’s fastest electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft. It’s claimed to reach a top speed of 225 mph in just 30 seconds from a standing start.

Matt Pearson, CEO of Alauda Aeronautics, said,  “We, and the world, are ready for crewed flying car racing. We have built the vehicles, developed the sport, secured the venues, 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 a 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 Airspeeder Mk4 has a take-off weight (MTOW) of 950kg and a projected range of 188 miles. The new aircraft is a development of the remotely-piloted Mk3, which has successfully completed more than 350+ test flights and taken part in two Airspeeder demonstration races in South Australia in 2022.


It’s powered by a 1,000kW (1,340 horsepower) turbogenerator that feeds power to the batteries and motors. It uses hydrogen as fuel. An Artificial Intelligence (AI) flight controller individually adjusts four pairs of rotors mounted on lightweight 3D printed gimbals. This makes the Mk4 not only fast in a straight line, but also able to manoeuvre with the incredible precision essential in close-action racing.

Alauda Aerospace plans to begin flight testing the Mk4 chassis and powertrain, including the first crewed flights of the airframe, in the first quarter of 2023. The aircraft will be ready to take the start line at the Airspeeder Racing Championship in 2024.


See also: AAIB reports slams CAA and Airspeeder after drone crash


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