WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF
Any time anyone creates a new vehicle invariably someone wants to race them and create a new sport.
Around four months after sharing footage of its flying car’s first test flights in Australia, Alauda Aeronautics has now announced that they’ve carried out the world’s first eVTOL drag race, albeit with no humans onboard after a pair of remotely piloted Airspeeder Mk3 aircraft were flown down an aerial drag strip as part of pre-season preparations ahead a full blown F1-style air race series which is slated for later this year.
I first caught wind of their ambitions back in 2017 with the startup outlining a plan to “usher in the era of urban air mobility” by “fostering innovation through high-speed and high-risk aerial racing.”
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The most recent test flights saw the Mk3 Octocopter take to the air over a South Australian desert for the first time, and these vehicles are no slouches. They can fly from 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 2.8 seconds and are designed to reach altitudes of 500 m (1,640 ft).
The world’s first ever eVTOL drag race
The latest outing for the Mk3, the latest generation, saw two of them pitted against one another in an aerial drag race, each piloted by a team of Alauda Aeronautics engineers.
The course was a short one, at just 300 m (984 ft), but saw the pair rise to an altitude of 15 m (50 ft) and the leading craft reach a top speed of 155 km/h (96 mph), with Team Bravo leading Team Alpha across the finish line.
Eventually the fully fledged Airspeeder race series will see up to four teams each with two pilots who will race the aircraft “blade-to-blade” around an electronically governed Augmented reality (AR) enabled “sky track.” These will be hosted at different locations around the world and streamed online, and according to Alauda, are still scheduled to kick off this year.
Source: Alauda Aeronautics