28 Dec
Australia Could Host Flying Car Races Australia Could Host Flying Car Races

Australia Could Host Flying Car Races

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An Australian entrepreneur hopes that working on a project to race flying cars will help to speed up their adoption for more everyday use.

Matt Pearson's company, Alauda, has begun work on a what amounts to a human-occupied racing drone.

The vehicle, dubbed the Alauda Mark 1 Airspeeder, can house a single pilot and reach a top speed of 155 mph (250 kmh). A quartet of custom 50-kilowatt brushless electric motors will draw energy from the exact lithium-ion cells that power the battery of a Tesla Model S. The drone's carbon fiber composite body and aluminum frame should tip the scales at 265 lbs (120 kg).

So far, Alauda is aiming to attain a flight time of ten minutes -- not exactly enough for a long-distance race, but every good idea has to start somewhere.

The initial test flights are expected in the early part of 2018. Then, two of the drones will compete against each other in a race slated for the Australian desert in the latter part of the year. A race including drones manufactured by other companies could happen as early as 2020.

"It's just time the world had flying cars," Pearson told New Atlas. "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."

For now, though, Pearson and company are focused on raising money to help develop the Airspeeder. The vehicle itself isn't available on Kickstarter, but for a pledge of AU $75 or more, donors can reserve access to a premium livestream of the race, with an Alauda t-shirt included.

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Read 2971 times Last modified on Wednesday, 13 December 2017 03:26
Jim Lillie

Jim began writing for newspapers and designing for publishing companies at a time when both industries were just beginning to make the switch from manual to digital platforms. Jim lives in Boulder, Colorado with his teenage son.

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