Flying 'race car' combines Formula One and drone racing

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on July 12, 2019 - Duration: 01:25s

Flying 'race car' combines Formula One and drone racing

Imagine Formula One racing in the air - that's the vision for AirSpeeder, the world's first piloted multi-copter racer.

Rough cut (no reporter narration)

Flying 'race car' combines Formula One and drone racing

Australian start-up Alauda Racing started small, building bigger and bigger iterations of their AirSpeeder craft.

They are currently testing a three-quarter sized remote-controlled version but have plans to test the full-sized piloted version later this year.

The exact locations for the races have not been revealed, but Pearson said they are looking at options including in the Middle East and United States among others.

Alauda says their AirSpeeders will aim for top speeds of around 124 miles per hour while carrying 100 kilograms (220 lbs) worth of pilot and safety equipment, about 20ft off the ground.

Flight times are expected to be 15 minutes but, just like Formula 1 pit-stops, the AirSpeeder's lithium-ion batteries will be swappable during racing.

The company has also designed bespoke collision avoidance software to prevent mid-air collisions between racers.

But sensory feedback to the pilot - what they call "bump simulation" - will alert them when they come too close to opponents.

Alauda Racing said they will have the first human test flights by the end of 2019, followed in late 2020 by the first controlled race for the first batch of vehicles.

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