We are witnessing an increasing use of AM technologies in the development of eVTOLs. On the heels of JETSON, Alauda Aeronautics, a developer of performance electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft, based in Adelaide, Australia, unveils its new Airspeeder Mk4 – a crewed electric flying race car.
Capable of reaching a top speed of 360kph (225mph) in just 30 seconds from a standing start, the vehicle ambitions to set the bar for performance and technology in the new sport of piloted Airspeeder racing. Powered by a 1,000kW (1,340hp) turbogenerator that feeds power to the batteries and motors, the Airspeeder Mk4’s demonstrator engine is made up of a metal 3D printed combustor that aims to keep the hydrogen flame temperature relatively low and greatly reducing nitrous oxide emissions.
This Thunderstrike engine has been designed with eVTOLs in mind since this technology allows green hydrogen to be used as fuel, providing safe, reliable and sustainable power over long distances and flight times.
According to the company, hydrogen is an ideal fuel for future aviation, and specifically personal urban air travel. It has a high energy density and can be stored in a lightweight, compact form, making it suitable for small aircraft. Furthermore, the non-toxic fuel generates no emissions except pure water, so it doesn’t cause air pollution.
On another note, the vehicle works with a gimballed thrust system, whereby an artificial intelligence flight controller individually adjusts four rotor pairs mounted on lightweight 3D printed gimbals. This enables the vehicle to be fast and precise, especially in close-action racing.
“We, and the world, are ready for crewed flying car racing. We have built the vehicles, developed the sport, secured the venues, attracted the sponsors and technical partners. Now is the time for the world’s most progressive, innovative and ambitious automotive brands, OEM manufacturers and motorsport teams to be part of a truly revolutionary new motorsport. In unveiling the crewed Airspeeder Mk4 we show the vehicles that will battle it out in blade-to-blade racing crewed by the most highly skilled pilots in their fields,” stated Matt Pearson, CEO, Alauda Aeronautics.
Alauda Aeronautics is now seeking OEM partners to join it in the Airspeeder Racing Championship in 2024, the first crewed flying race car series.
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