Motor-racing is a fascinating industry, as it is not only a ground for incredible feat of sporting achievements, but a ground ripe for awesome feats of innovation in engineering. One only needs to pay notice to the ways Formula One cars have evolved over the years to understand the seemingly limitless possibilities that the motor-racing industry offers forward-thinking engineers. Of course, to this point, one feature has unified the vast majority of motorcars; they’ve been designed to race down here on the ground.
That might be about to change however as Australian outfit Alauda Aeronautics made history this week, marking a massive step in their push to usher in the next world’s sport phenomenon and legitimise the electric flying car. The world’s first flying car drag race was run over the weekend in South Australia, as two of Alauda’s eVTOL (vertical take-off and landing) Mk3 Speeders went head-to-head in a showcase of what those following the emerging industry can look forward to in the coming years. The event was conducted ‘drag race’ style, a 400m straight line dash where the two vehicles reached a top speed of 100km/h while hovering at a high of around 50 feet as they navigated the windy conditions around South Australia’s Flinders Ranges. While this race was conducted with unmanned vehicles with two teams piloting the cars remotely and it is expected that the 2022 competition will be organised in similar fashion, the vision for the future of the ‘Airspeeder’ series currently includes manned vehicles which will be capable of reaching significantly higher speeds of up to 300km/h, making safe and successful public demonstrations of the technology important in Alauda’s effort to legitimise the industry going forward.
With the test race proving to be a resounding success and public interest set to grow in the coming months, the stage has been set for Alauda to begin planning the inaugural Airspeeder EXA Series next year. With several other prominent air-race competitions set to join the sporting calendar in the next couple of years, including the long anticipated debut of Air Race E and the revival of the Air Race World Championships, one wonders whether the future of competitive racing could take place more in the skies than on the track.
Top image courtesy of Alauda Aeronautics.d