You read the title correctly. This is, in fact, an article about race cars. Electric-powered race cars. That fly, in the literal sense of being airborne, not in the figurative ?we were going so fast, it was like we were flying? sense of the word. Electric flying race cars.
Matthew Pearson has a very specific area of concentration when it comes to the development of eVTOL crafts. ?Electric vertical takeoff and landing,? or eVTOL craft, seem to be the next step in the flying car phenomenon, though many people have pointed out that they?re a bit more like helicopters or drones than actual flying cars. But don?t mention that to Pearson. His main interest is developing them so he can race them.
Pearson founded the company Alauda Aeronautics in 2019 to develop flying race cars, and it appears they have experienced success with the Alauda Mk3. This unmanned aircraft reports top speeds of 124 MPH, and the ability to go from 0 to 62 MPH in just 2.8 seconds. All told, each Mk3 weighs just 286 pounds, and features a battery pack that can be removed and replaced very quickly during ?pit? stops. Bear in mind, the races are around 45 minutes long, and each battery pack lasts around 10-15 minutes, so it?s imperative that crews make the switch quickly.
If you?re wondering what racing organization has sanctioned these races, the answer is none other than Airspeeder, another company Pearson founded in 2019 to organize international races of the crafts he planned to design.
Australia?s Civil Aviation Safety Authority is actually okay with this. They have observed the Mk3 in flight, and have issued an experimental certification for flight of the crafts. Each Mk3 includes a really impressive flyer assistance package that uses LiDAR sensors and a collision avoidance algorithm.
For the remainder of 2021, Pearson indicates we?ll see only unmanned, remotely piloted races. But, if you?re itching to race flying cars, the time to sign up is now. Pearson plans to start the full-crew races in 2022.