What is an Airspeeder?
After two years of development in a secret location in Sydney, Alauda is revealing the Airspeeder Mark 1, a new class of airborne racing vehicle unlike anything that has has come before it. The world has been talking about flying cars for years. We decided it was time to stop talking and start building. We’ve got this far but now we need your help. With you we can build a sport. We can get others building competitor cars. A whole new world of agile transport will develop.
Like any sport, we need to build a passionate community to drive it forward. We need you to help show the world that the enjoyment of head to head racing should not be bound by gravity. With a global audience, many other teams will rise to the challenge and begin to develop their own Airspeeder to race.
Collaboration and competition will ensure that the technology is pushed to its absolute limit, ensuring rapid development in the field. Will you join us and the Airspeeder community today and help fast track the first ever flying car race?
Golden Age Design
We wanted a shape that was instantly recognisable as a flying racing car, something that would evoke the golden age of motorsport while heralding in a new era.
We learned a lot along the way...
Rather than theorise, our approach was to jump in and start building hardware to learn what needed to happen. Scaling power, size and the control systems to handle them isn't easy and we had a few mishaps!
(Discovering Beast Mode - eight motors turned out to be a lot of power)
(Testing flight systems with "Biggie Smalls" Chassis - full size frame but extremely lightweight and with small test motors.)
Things started to come together...
(...almost - 1:3 scale "Zoolander" prototype coming together - a little more pilot training required)
(Testing continues on the 1:3 scale "Zoolander" prototype)
And finally... Meet Alauda Mark IThe Alauda MKI is the first iteration of Airspeeder made by Alauda. This simple lightweight design was built with cost and performance in the forefront of our minds. We all have substantial experience with drones and drone racing and we know how easy it is to make small mistakes and big crashes. With this in mind we set out to build a test frame that was affordable and easy to manufacture. This will allow us to push the control systems to their limits, without fear of crashing a very expensive aerial frame.
This being said, the speeder also had to be light enough to conform to the government's regulation, but powerful enough to fly remotely with a human analog pilot onboard. So a powerful set of 50KW motors was used to produce a massive amount of thrust. This paired with a custom battery system and specialised ESC's should allow us to maintain small drone performance, in a large form factor speeder.
Aesthetically, many “flying cars” tend to resemble large drones with a lot of propellers, maintaining a similar appearance to drones you can buy from the store. At Alauda we wanted to take a different approach to the design of our speeders.
We wanted people to look at the curves of the MKI and instantly know that it is a flying race car invoking a passion for a sport unlike any other. To achieve this we have taken the body from an old 1960’s Formula V car and retrofitted it to our low cost test frame, hinting to a golden age of motor sport, being reborn into a modern world.
Mark I: Technical Specifications
If we want to create a whole new sport we need to prove that people are excited about it. We’re on kickstarter to build the beginnings of a community that will enjoy and participate in the new Airspeeder sport and catapult it on to the world stage.
Risks and challenges
We have chosen Australia for our first race because of their progressive regulatory framework for drones and experimental aircraft. We are working with the authorities on certification. Nonetheless, this is cutting edge stuff and it's possible that we will run into regulatory hurdles that will push our first race date back.
Like all projects pushing the boundaries of what is possible with technology, there will be setbacks due to malfunctioning parts and supply issues. We have encountered such difficulties and setbacks many times before when constructing the 1/3 scale model and the Mark I Airspeeder, and we will continue to face such setbacks as we continue to develop this technology, and push it to its limits. When setbacks do occur, we will do what we have always done and persevere, using our experience in design, programming and manufacturing to overcome such obstacles and achieve our goals.
- (30 days)