In a secret warehouse, a mission to build Airspeeder – a flying racing car – and host a “race to end all races” is underway.
Matt Pearson, also a co-founder of Australian space start-up Fleet and micro-business platform Honcho was growing tired of the slow progress in flying cars, so he is building his own. But he needs help so the Alauda project was born and is now on Kickstarter so other enthusiasts can join in via modest crowdfunding.
After two years of development, Alauda has revealed the Airspeeder Mark 1, a new class of airborne racing vehicle, unlike anything that has come before. Neither a car nor a plane, the company has lifted the term “Airspeeder” from science fiction to describe the new vehicle category.
Alauda is using cutting-edge technologies and advanced robotics to build the Ferrari of the sky; a full-sized, human-capable, flying car called the Alauda Mark 1.
The Alauda Mark 1 is an electric, low-altitude aircraft shaped like a race car. Once completed, it will carry a pilot and reach top speeds of more than 200 kph. Equipped with four custom 50-megawatt motors, and powered by a Tesla Model S battery, the Mark 1 will use robotics and sensors to ensure safety while putting the driver in control of a performance electric aircraft.
“It’s just time the world had flying cars,” Pearson said. “Racing will push the technology like nothing else. It’s not enough to build the speeder: we have to build the sport. We want to bring the excitement and values of Formula 1 to the sky.”
“After two years of development, we’re ready to share the Alauda Mark 1 with the world. Like any sport, we need a community of passionate people backing us. We have the prototype; we have the technology, we have the team – now we want to take it to the next level. Our Kickstarter will help us build a community and bring flying racing cars one step closer to reality,” he added.
Alauda is one of the founding companies of the South Australian Space Innovation Complex and is in discussions with industry bodies to get the Airspeeder sky high. The targets are ambitious — the first test flight will happen early next year, with the first head-to-head race planned for late 2018.
By 2020, the company plans to hold the first Airspeeder World Championship.