The Alauda Airspeeder is a single seater recreational eVTOL that can fly at speeds up to 124mph. On July 4th, an unmanned prototype of the speeder took to the skies at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in Sussex, UK. Watch the Alauda video here.
The vision of start-up Alauda Racing is to build “a world-beating flying sports car for sale to the public'”. Founded by Asutralia by entrepreneur Matt Pearson, the company has been making steady progress since 2018, and is backed by financial firm Equals, which sees the Airspeeder as the next evolution of traditional motorsport racing.
The Alauda Airspeeder has a top speed of 124mph, using a 500kw battery pack that currently still needs recharging every 15 minutes. Alauda envisions that air races, the first of which are tentatively scheduled for 2020, will take place about 4 meters above the ground. The airspeeder flies on a four sets of two 32-inch rotors, much like the Ehang 184 or the Workhorse Surefly.
Although Alauda experienced some technical difficulties with the Airspeeder at Goodwood, the Alauda team still plans on debuting races in 2020. Said Pearson, “with early technology, these things happen.” The Alauda team explained that the error, which caused the prototype to briefly lose control, would have been impossible in a manned aircraft.
Why it’s important: Alauda’s exciting application of eVTOL technology shows the many opportunities for the eVTOL industry. Although the Alauda team experienced a remote piloting error at is demonstration, the company is still making forward progress. The advent of eVTOL racing, as pursued by other companies like Assen Aero, has the potential to help eVTOLs attain societal acceptance and push performance boundaries to fully understand the physics and mechanics.