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Airspeeder wants to realize the “car” of electric flying race in 2021.

While much of the eVTOL industry is focused on city air taxis and freight transport, entrepreneur Matthew Pearson had another idea of ​​the “car” of electric flight racing. So in 2019, he founded two companies, Alauda Aeronautics for manufacturing aircraft and Airspeeder, an international series for racing them. Currently, Airspeeder says it has completed the first test flight of its debuted electric flying car and is ready to host the first race of this year’s EXA series.

It was called the Alauda Mk3 and made a test flight in South Australia. They were monitored by the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority, which certified the aircraft.Pearson’s Vision-and what you can see by looking at some of the Airspeeders Movie trailer – A race that is somewhat reminiscent of Star Wars’ iconic pod racing, with no humans or creatures on the pilot seats.

The first three races scheduled for 2021 will all feature remote-controlled aircraft. The company plans a crew showcase as early as 2022.

The unpiloted Mk3 can reach a top speed of 124 mph (200 km / h) and weighs only 286 lbs (130 kg). The company said it could accelerate from 0 mph to 62 mph in 2.8 seconds. Tesla Model S Or Porsche Taycan..Faithful to Formula One NASCARThe Mk3 has a removable battery that can be quickly replaced during a pit stop. The in-house pit stop crew was able to replace the battery designed by Arauda in less than 20 seconds. The Mk3 can fly for 10 to 15 minutes with a single battery pack, so during the 45-minute race, ground pilots will remotely navigate the aircraft and land about three times at the pit stop.

The Mk3 is equipped with a combination of LiDAR, radar and machine vision, and Pearson says it will create a collision avoidance system.Company did not specify TechCrunch The number of sensors on each craft that refused to quote their own information to provide system details. However, the challenge in designing a safety system for a flying racing car is to have enough flexibility to allow the aircraft to approach as close as possible without actually colliding. This is a problem not only for pilots competing with each other, but also for air speeder systems.

Pearson explains: “Vehicles are talking to each other, knowing where other vehicles are, and using the same algorithms to solve collision avoidance problems in the same way. Therefore, they can predict each other’s behavior. I know. There is something like a collision avoidance framework, but in it I want to give the pilot as much freedom and control as possible, so where there is a barrier between the pilot and the machine. Dialing up will be really interesting. “

You’ll want to compare it to the major eVTOL companies developing air taxi services, but Pearson said the economics and commercialization of electric racing aircraft are different. “The commercialization model is much faster,” he said. “We can race before everyone starts commercial activity.”

One of the reasons they can be very agile is that their authentication routes are so different from the routes required by air taxis designed to shuttle people. Those startups can spend hundreds of millions of dollars – up to $1 $ 1 billion for designing, certifying, and manufacturing a single aircraft model, according to some estimates. The Mk3 is flying under experimental certification by the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority. This means that certain safety and airworthiness standards must be met, but with a much lower regulatory burden than airliners.

“The important thing in our program is to keep the vehicle in a constant development cycle, so instead of building one vehicle and certifying it for more than 10 years, we try to build a new aircraft every year. I have, “he explained. “That’s not the way aviation actually works, and certainly, if you want to take advantage of passenger applications, it’s not your way.”

Airspeeder, led by Australian investors Saltwater Capital and Jelix Ventures, made its first round of funding in April 2020 with an unspecified amount of money. Pearson also said he would provide capital and was able to attract a partnership from logistics company BHL and luxury watchmaker IWC Schaffhausen. The company refused to provide further details on how to fund a small aviation manufacturing business from scratch.

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Airspeeder wants to realize the “car” of electric flying race in 2021.

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