You might say crazy: How the world’s first flying car racing league was born

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Image credit: Alauda Racing

From the fifth element to the jetson to the blade runner, flying cars are the mainstay of the scientific imagination. For Australian entrepreneur Matt Pearson, it was a childhood dream.

Pearson is the founder of Alauda Racing and the creator of AirSpeeder – a new sports league that he specifically referred to as “Sky Fleece.” Manned drones will compete head-to-head, flying at speeds of up to 200 kilometers per hour. The company has unveiled an exhibition featuring three-quarter scale prototypes and will unveil its first full-scale prototype at the Goodwood Festival Speed ​​in July.

It’s a fascinating project, but Pearson makes it sound like the most natural thing in the world. His first business was the launch of the software, but his attention was drawn to the above.

“I needed to make something big, so I set up a space startup that aimed to put small satellites in space for internet connectivity,” he told Tacker. “Australia and multiple other parts of the earth are really struggling with bad internet connectivity, and there needs to be a lot of industrial equipment and out-of-town things involved, so I started working on it, and last year we Put in four satellites or rabbits which is great. ”

The company spent five or six years in the space industry, but again, Pearson was itching. “I think it’s going very well,” he said. “Let’s do something really crazy and find a flying car manufacturer.”

In the air – experience driving

Pearson’s main goal is to bring flying cars into the mainstream and make them accessible to everyone – as easy as driving a terrestrial vehicle – but the technology is still in its infancy.

“We formed a company called Alouda Aeronautics, and we began to develop drone technology bigger and bigger, and to see if we could turn it into something that could take anyone.”

“It was before it all came out – before Ehang revealed himself to the world, CityAirbus, Volocopters – so when we started talking about how we’re going to fly cars, every Someone thinks, ‘Well, you must be crazy.’ But after about a year of work, the articles began to spread all over the place, and suddenly ‘Oh, yes, it makes sense.’ ”

Image credit: Alauda Racing

Alawda’s flying car will be different. Companies like Boeing and Bell are working on flying taxis as an easy way to get from A to B.

“It’s like a revolution, and it’s due to autonomy,” said John Langford, president, and CEO of Boeing subsidiary Aurora Flight Sciences, at the inauguration of Boeing Next – a prototype air taxi. “Certified autonomy will enable calm, clean, and safe urban air mobility.”

Pearson says this type of project is good, but he wants to maintain as much driving experience as possible. The sight of his flying car is as easy to operate as a normal sedan, but an airplane: “It is as easy to control as a car, rather than the difficulty of flying a helicopter or a plane, that anyone can drive, but the wind Through. ”

A Ferrari from the sky

The whole new form of transportation involves a lot of research and development, but Pearson has plans – steps on the accelerator and ways to advance the technology.

“I wanted to make something really, really interesting,” he explained. “Something costly. And the first version we built would be a deficient volume and high priced vehicle. So I thought carefully, let’s start with a sports car or, you know, or a hyper sports car – essentially. A Ferrari from the sky. ”

Instead of waiting ten years for the air mobility industry to take hold, Alauda began building a market for flying cars from first principles with specialized racing leagues.

Image credit: Alauda Racing

“Since the start of the ride, you’ve been racing, and a lot of good things have come out of the competition, haven’t you?” Said Pearson. “You have a lot of money and the expertise and talent that drives technology forward. So it makes sense.

“And we’ve seen things like Formula One spin from Formula E; drone racing has emerged, robots have appeared – they’re trying to find the next step in racing. And we think those things are involved in electric vehicle racing. Feels total.

“I always say that by creating a race around it, you attract a huge audience. We are creating a market for our vehicles in Alauda.”

He is the market airspeeder – a prestigious sport featuring four-meter electric vehicles that run head-to-head in the hottest places in the world.

“It captures the motorsport audience,” Pearson said. “The film also captures audiences for sports and drone racing, and I always say, ‘Who doesn’t see flying cars?’

Flying in 2020

The show at Goodwood in July will signal the beginning of a new phase for Alauda and Airspeeder. Uncrewed test flights will occur later this year, and the team is working hard to meet vehicle safety standards.

“You see a lot of things on YouTube, like people walking on lawn chairs, or in the tub or whatever,” says Pearson, “but we were doing something different.” Suppose you want to do Something about it. For performance, you need a bigger motor, a bigger propeller, more power. ”

Alameda is working with the rules to make sure they follow the rules. As Pearson notes, vehicle certification is one thing, but sports certification is another. The company has been working through difficult times but is committed to doing everything through the book.

It is also in talks with key sponsors and broadcasters for next year’s first World Championships. Pearson hasn’t given up much, but he says things are starting to take shape, and Goodwood is signaling a start.

One thing that Alauda doesn’t think about is that pilots find themselves in a critical G-Force.

“There’s an exciting mix of guys who are currently motor racing racers, drone pilots, and ex-soldiers,” Pearson said. “But we also had a surprising number of people who were just like, ‘Sign me up! When can I join? Let’s do it!’ “

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