The Festival Of Speed Takes To The Air In The World’s First Full-Size Airspeeder Race Series
With the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed in full swing, the Duke of Richmond has launched Airspeeder, the world’s first full-size quadcopter racing event. Developed by Alauda Racing and backed by title sponsor Equals (a money management solutions provider) the concept has taken just four years to become a reality. The launch included two MkII prototype Speeders, which raced head-to-head at up to 60mph and an average of 4 meters (4.3 yards) above the ground, but this is just the start, 2020 will see the Airspeeder racing get going in earnest with the upcoming MkIV octocopters.
These will be the manned machines that will compete in the first Airspeeder Grand Prix and will be equipped with eight 50kw (67hp) motors driving 60-inch blades, capable of powering the MkIV up to 120mph and providing thrilling racing reminiscent of the early days of flight. The racing will follow similar rules to that of Formula E with 30 minutes of flat-out racing including one pit-stop to swap out the 500kw battery.
Advanced collision avoidance systems and an augmented reality vision system that allows pilots to ‘see’ through the craft’s body will help ensure that the racing is as safe as possible. Manned demonstration flights are scheduled for later in the year in the Mojave Desert. They will also be on display at the Goodwood FoS Future Lab throughout the event.
Matt Pearson, founder and CEO of Airspeeder and the driving force behind the Airspeeder race series, said, “This was a very emotional moment for those of us who have been involved in this project from the start, everyone at Alauda Racing and our partners and sponsors. After huge amounts of hard work, research, technical development and planning this formal unveiling—at an event as iconic as Goodwood—it feels as though all our dreams have become reality and Airspeeder has properly arrived.” Pearson went on to say that this was just the start of their vision and the development of this unique sporting spectacle could also usher in a new industry of flying cars built for competition.
Images courtesy of Airspeeder