Airspeeder introduces the world’s first electric flying racing car pilots
by DRONELIFE Staff Writer Ian M. Crosby
Since 2019, Alauda Aeronautics and Airspeeder have brought together engineers, technical and sports rights experts to develop the world’s first and only fully functioning electric flying race cars for use in an exciting new generation of motorsport.
These vehicles will soon compete in a series of groundbreaking races called the EXA Series, the historic first Grand Prix of electric flying cars. This EXA series is the permanent development formula for the upcoming Airspeeder manned electric flying car races. The entrants chosen to participate will embark on an extraordinary journey of development, ascending from elite remote pilots to real-life history writers as the world’s first entrants to the upcoming manned Airspeeder races.
These next-generation racing machines flew publicly for the first time in the summer of 2021 via development flights in the deserts of South Australia. As the engineering team worked tirelessly to develop and validate these revolutionary flying vehicles, more than 1,500 individuals applied to become history writers and pioneers as the world’s first electric flying car racing pilots.
After an exhaustive selection process, a few shortlisted were selected because of the combination of the necessary piloting skills and the ability to shape the sport together with the technical team. These pilots will serve as a vital arm of Alauda Aeronautics’ engineering team to lead an approach to fine-tuning the dynamic and tactical nuances that will make EXA and Airspeeder races the most exciting and progressive sports entities in the world. .
“In my heart I am a racer. I join Alauda and Airspeeder in pushing the boundaries of motorsport and making history as the world’s first winning electric flying car racer. I am honored to be part of making history by developing this whole new generation of motorsport,” said Emily Duggan, Australia’s most successful current driver. Recognized as a rising star, Duggan became the first female driver to race in the Australian V8 Touring Car Series. She has raced at Bathurst where she set the fastest lap in the 2016 Challenge Bathurst and has since completed both the Australian Toyota 86 Racing Series and the Kumho Super3 Series. Emily is a hands-on developer of race cars and regularly works on the mechanical elements of the machines she drives. Emily has had great success on the track, scoring 12 wins, 33 podiums and 2 poles in her career.
RPAS pilot Zephatali Walsh is one of the most admired multiblade pilots in the world. No stranger to competitive racing, in 2020 Walsh was called up to the Drone Champions League where he competes with Raiden Racing. His path as an Environmental Science student has developed a fascination with the role racing plays in creating and accelerating a new clean air mobility revolution. “Racing has always pushed the boundaries of what is possible for both humans and their creations,” said Walsh. “I am excited to demonstrate, through the competitive environment created by Airspeeder Racing, technology that will help shape the future of personal flying car transportation for my son’s generation.”
World-renowned FPV drone pilot Fabio Tischler has traveled the world capturing footage from brands such as Red Bull, Toyota and Go Pro. Tischler has built a large social following by creating some of the most compelling movie content in the industry. This caught the attention of Alauda, who invited him to be a part of EXA, the world’s first series of remote-controlled electric flying race cars.
“I am an instinctive racer with and driven by my motto ‘stop thinking and start flying’.
Joining Airspeeder and Alauda gives me the opportunity to make history in this incredible first flying car Grand Prix,” said Tischler. “I am so happy to be part of a truly forward-thinking step towards a long-promised future of flying cars.”
This initial influx of pilots will undergo a rigorous process of training and development. This includes logging over 2000+ collective hours in the Alauda Aeronautics 6-DoF VR simulator, which will mimic an MK4 track race in an XR environment.
Alauda’s engineers and his technical staff, including Telstra, AWS and NVIDIA pilots, will stress test the Mk3 and Mk4 vehicles in Unreal Engine to simulate racing. Through their training programs and the races, they will master the dynamics of racing vehicles with the same thrust-to-weight ratio as an F16 jet fighter, but with the added power to execute fast F1 car style hairpin turns. Unmanned EXA races and manned Airspeeder races will prove the latest augmented reality technology. This will seamlessly display the digital sky trails that will define racing courses in some of the most remote and visually arresting landscapes in the world.
It will also pioneer a full range of safety systems. A systems-based approach to safety that integrates LiDAR and RADAR systems into a suite of technologies dubbed the ‘Virtual Force Field’ will give pilots the freedom to compete in close proximity from blade to blade without the risk of collision .
“This is the beginning of a new generation of motorsport led by some of the most talented and dynamic participants from a wide variety of motorsport and advanced air mobility backgrounds,” said Matt Pearson, founder of Alauda Aeronautics and Airspeeder. “This is just the beginning and we can’t wait to see Emily, Zephatali and Fabio chart a course to victory in the world’s first remote-controlled flying car racing series. Electric flying car racing is the most exciting and progressive form of motorsport in the world. We’ve proudly showcased the potential of our Speeders in test environments, but now it’s time to tackle the serious business of pure sporting competition. Our first selection out of thousands of candidates reflects the broad background of electric flying car racers.”
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and drone regulation. Miriam has written over 3,000 articles on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and more than 20 years of experience in high-tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For advice or writing about the drone industry, email Miriam.
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