The Airspeeder Mk3, a full-sized remotely-operated electric vertical take-off and landing vehicle (eVTOL), has been unveiled and is ready to race.
The first of its kind will be showcased in an upcoming racing series that will stand as a technical test-bed and feeder series to the manned series in 2022.
A full grid of Mk3 electric flying cars are currently being manufactured at Airspeeder and Alauda's technical HQ in Adelaide, South Australia. More than 10 identical racing vehicles will be produced and supplied to teams in 2021.
Final behind-closed-doors pre-season tests will happen in Australia before the start of an international racing calendar.
The initial Mk3 races will provide vital information on vehicle dynamics, performance, safety and powertrain technology that will inform the final development of the manned Mk4 Airspeeder vehicle.
The Speeder will be operated remotely by a pilot on the ground. The groundbreaking safety enhancements include LiDAR and Radar collision avoidance systems that create a 'virtual forcefield' around the craft. Additionally, the Mk3 features a carbon fibre frame and fuselage chosen for its strength, stiffness and lightweight properties, which ensures manoeuvrability, performance and efficiency.
The powertrain represents a significant upgrade on the Mk2 proof of concept vehicle, with power increased by 95% with only a 50% increase in weight. A 96 kW electric powertrain already sees the Mk3 operating with a thrust to weight ratio above two, on a craft that weighs just 100KG unmanned. The Mk3 speeders will fly at speeds in excess of 120 km\h.
Manouevrebality and stability
The Mk3 speeders are laid-out in an 'octocopter X formation', providing significant advantages to pilots. When racing the pilot will be able to make the same sharp hairpin style turns as a Formula 1 car but with the added third dimension of being able to move vertically.
Rapid pit stops
To facilitate rapid pit stops, Alauda's engineers have developed an innovative 'slide and lock' system for the rapid removal and replacement of batteries when on the ground, this technology debuts on the Mk3.
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