Flying cars do not seem to exceed future plans. With one exception, because the Dutch PAL-V has already made its first and test flights. This amazing Airspeeder Mk3 seems to be chasing him, as this electric race car is set to take action this year – albeit from a distance – and will hit the racing scene with the first pilots on board next year.
“Some of Renault, Mercedes and Bentley were the first racing cars. The pioneers of these brands knew that if they wanted to take steps forward in the mobility revolution, they had to build their cars for racing.” This is how Airspeeder articulates its philosophy by following those brands. For a flying car to take off the ground, there has to be an emphasis on racing machines.
This is how the Airspeeder Mk3, the world’s first electric flying racing car was created. The Mk3 prototype and remote control was introduced at Goodwood Speed Week. Now the prototypes are over and it’s time for Airspeeder to start production. This will be done at the headquarters in Adelaide, Australia.
Formula 1 affects the Airspeeder Mk3
Alauda Aeronautics, the sister company to Airspeed, is currently building ten models of these elegant vehicles, which are based on the VTOL idea. With vertical takeoff and landing, which is what VTOL stands for, the vehicle can – as the name suggests – take off and land vertically. In the Airspeeder Mk3, this is done by the four propellers located at the ends of the car, which are similar to the design of the first “cigar” cars we saw in the race.
This isn’t surprising, because Felix Pieron, Head of Design at Airspeeder, began working meticulously with that thought. “In my design choices, I looked at the classic racing car shapes of the 1950s and 1960s. This was a time when the beauty of the car was just as important as the engineering and aerodynamics.” Airspeeder describes the final build as a merger of a Formula 1 vehicle, jet fighter, and helicopter. What we’re missing is the car’s main component, the crucial wheels … that’s why we don’t call it a car, and the PAL-V, which should be able to participate in traffic as a car, is our favorite.
In addition to the looks, the Airspeeder has also been copied from the Formula 1 cockpit. The pilots, who will begin operating in 2022, will run in the cockpit in the typical supine position of the Mk3.
Impressive performance of the Mk3
Airspeeder Mk3 performance is not bad. The electric car, when controlled remotely, delivers power of 320 kW, which is equivalent to the Audi SQ7. However, the comparison immediately ends there, because by weight these two cannot be compared at all. The Audi weighs 2,500 kilograms, while the Airspeeder weighs only 130 kilograms. This is a drone. By the way, it should not weigh more than 80 kg, since the Airspeeder Mk3 can not lift more. Zero to Hundred should be done in 2.8 seconds, with a maximum altitude of 500 meters.
Electric VTOLs will also be able to turn a corner. Then drivers will feel power up to 5G, as is often the case in Formula 1.
Airspeeder received assistance from McLaren, Tom Walkinshaw Racing, and Brabham in developing the Mk3. Together, they came up with a carbon fiber chassis and battery that has a performance 90 percent higher than its predecessors, but that comes with a 50 percent increase in weight. It would take about fourteen seconds to stop in the hole thanks to the easily replaceable batteries.
Already in action this year
We’ll see the flying electric race car in action this year: Airspeeder aims to hold the first races – with remote control of vehicles – in the second half of 2021. It will take place on three different continents. Next year, we should see the first races with the pilots aboard the Airspeeder Mk3 competing to win.
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