Sydney aeronautical startup Alauda has revealed the Alauda Mark 1 Airspeeder, Australia’s first flying racing car.
After two years of research and development in an industrial warehouse, the project is the brainchild of founder Matt Pearson, also a co-founder of Australian space startup, Fleet, and the micro-business platform, Honcho.
Alauda, which is one of the founding companies of the South Australian Space Innovation Complex, plans to hold the inaugural Airspeeder World Championship by 2020, with the first head-to-head race planned for late 2018.
“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.”
The Alauda Mark 1 is an electric, low-altitude aircraft shaped like a race car. Once completed, it will be capable of carrying a single pilot and reach top speeds of more than 200 kmh.
Equipped with four custom 50-megawatt motors, and powered by the same cells used in the battery of a Tesla Model S, the Mark 1 will use robotics and sensors to ensure safety while putting the driver in control of a performance electric aircraft.
“After two years of development, we’re ready to share the Alauda Mark 1 with the world,” Pearson continued. “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.”
Alauda invited the public to the project’s a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign, requesting patrons to pledge $30 to be granted access to the exclusive livestream of Alauda’s first head-to-head race through the Australian desert.