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 been bringing together engineers, technical and sports rights experts to develop the world’s first and only fully functioning electric flying racing cars for use in an exciting new next generation motor sport.
These vehicles will soon compete in a series of ground-braking races named the EXA Series, the historic first electric flying car Grand Prix. This EXA Series is the permanent development formula for the forthcoming Airspeeder crewed electric flying car races. The competitors that have been chosen to take part will embark upon an extraordinary development journey, ascending from elite remote pilots into true history makers as the world’s first competitors in the forthcoming Airspeeder crewed races.
These next generation racing machines publicly flew for the first time in the summer of 2021 through development flights in the deserts of South Australia. While the technical team worked tirelessly to engineer and validate these revolutionary flying vehicles, more than 1,500 individuals applied to become history makers and pioneers as the world’s first electric flying car racing pilots.
Following an exhaustive selection process, a chosen few were selected due to possessing a combination of the necessary piloting skills and the ability to work alongside the technical team to shape the sport going forward. These pilots will serve as a vital arm of the Alauda Aeronautics engineering team to lead an approach to refining the dynamic and tactical nuances that will make the EXA and Airspeeder races the most compelling and progressive sporting entities in the world.
“At heart I am a racer. I am joining Alauda and Airspeeder to push the boundaries of motorsport and make history as the world’s first winning electric flying car racer. I’m honoured to be part of making history by developing this entirely new generation of motorsport,” said Emily Duggan, Australia’s most successful current racing driver. Recognised 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 secured fastest lap in the 2016 Challenge Bathurst and has since completed in both the Australian Toyota 86 Racing Series and Kumho Super3 Series. Emily is a hands-on developer of racing cars and regularly works on the mechanical elements of the machines she drives. Emily has enjoyed much 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 multi-blade pilots in the world. No stranger to competitive racing, in 2020 Walsh was drafted into the Drone Champions League where he competes with Raiden Racing. His path as a student of Environmental Science has developed a fascination with the role that racing plays in creating and accelerating a new clean-air mobility revolution. “Racing has always pushed the limits of what is possible for both humans and their creations,” said Walsh. “I’m excited to demonstrate, through the competitive environment created by Airspeeder racing, technology that will help shape a flying-car future personal transport 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 through the creation of some of the most captivating film content in the business. This drew the attention of Alauda who invited him to become part of EXA, the world’s first series for remotely-piloted electric flying racing cars.
“I’m an instinctive racer with and am driven by my motto to ‘stop thinking and start flying’.
Joining Airspeeder and Alauda gives me the opportunity to make history in these incredible first flying car Grand Prix,” said Tischler. “I’m so happy to be part of a truly progressive step towards a long-promised flying car future.”
This first intake of pilots will undergo a rigorous process of training and development. This will include the logging of over 2000+ collective hours in the Alauda Aeronautics 6-DoF VR simulator, which will mimic an MK4 circuit race within an XR environment.
Alauda’s engineers and its technical collaborators including Telstra, AWS and NVIDIA pilots will stress-test the Mk3 and Mk4 vehicles inside Unreal Engine to simulate racing. Through their training programmes and the races they will master the dynamics of racing vehicles with the same thrust-to-weight ratio as an F16 fighter jet but with the added ability to perform rapid F1 car style hairpin turns. Through uncrewed EXA races and crewed Airspeeder races the latest augmented reality technology will be proven. This will seamlessly display the digital sky tracks that will define race-courses in some of the most remote and visually arresting scenery in the world.
A full suite of safety systems will also be pioneered. A systems based approach to safety integrating attest LiDAR and RADAR systems in a suite of technologies termed the ‘Virtual Force Field’ will free the pilots to compete in blade-to-blade proximity without the risk of colliding.
“This is the start of a new generation of motorsport led by some of the most talented and dynamic competitors from a wide range of motorsport and advanced air mobility backgrounds,” said Matt Pearson, Founder of Alauda Aeronautics and Airspeeder. “This is just the beginning and we cannot wait to see Emily, Zephatali and Fabio plot a course to victory in the world’s first remotely piloted flying car racing series. Electric flying car racing is the most exciting and progressive form of motorsport in the world. We have been proud to show the potential of our Speeders in test settings but now is the time to get down to the serious business of pure sporting competition. Our first intake selected from the thousands of applicants reflects the breadth of backgrounds electric flying car racers will come from.”
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 the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused 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 over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.
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