In the second installment of the film “Back to the Future,” Marty McFly set foot in the year 2015 where the trend was hoverboards, self-tying shoes, and flying cars.
While those things might have seemed a bit too futuristic then, we might be seeing flying cars sooner than we expect with the recent launch of the low-flying quadcopter aircraft ‘Airspeeder Mark I.’
The craft took entrepreneur Matt Pearson more than a year to design for Alauda Racing, an Australian-based start-up, to use in a racing league.
According to Pearson, he built the electric-powered Airspeeder by merging an F1 car and a racing drone.
Since the Airspeeder is meant for competitive racing, it needs a massive amount of power really quickly.
Lithium batteries power the Airspeeder, and can fly at about 200kmph.
Majority of the drone’s parts are custom-made by Alauda, including the propellers made from wood, the 50-megawatt electric motors that are removable, and the frame made from aluminum.
The Airspeeder also has a sensor and airbag installed to avoid accidents and protect the pilot.
The vehicle was unmanned during its testing, but during the race, a pilot from inside the vehicle will be in complete control.
Pearson, who co-founded the space start-up Fleet, personally thinks that aircraft for sky racing is easier to design than the conventional four-wheeled vehicles.
According to the entrepreneur, it is in several ways more comfortable to work with air as a medium compared to motorsport, not to mention a ton safer. This is all thanks to robotics and autonomy that make the flight system safe.
The structure of the race league is still indefinite, but the Airspeeder is set to race within the next two years and will follow the circuit race format of Formula One.
The Airspeeder will make its international debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Pearson believes the piloted drones will make for the world’s most watchable sport.