After two years of research and development in an industrial warehouse in Sydney, Australian aeronautical startup Alauda has unveiled the Alauda Mark 1 Airspeeder, Australia’s first flying racing car. Today, Alauda launches their Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to give everyone a chance to be involved.
Pledges start at A$5 to buy the team a coffee, but the serious stuff starts at A$35 which gets you access to an exclusive livestream of Alauda’s first head-to-head race through the Australian desert. If you want to go all in, there’s a Golden ticket for A$10,000 that’ll fly you to Australia (Assuming you’re not already here) to the first ever Alauda Airspeeder test race in 2018.
The project is the brainchild of founder Matt Pearson, also a co-founder of Australian space startup Fleet and micro-business platform Honcho. Growing tired of the slow progress in flying cars, Matt decided the best way to accelerate the technology was to create a new sport for this century. A mission to build a flying racing car and host a “race to end all races” began.
Alauda is using cutting-edge technologies and advanced robotics to build the Ferrari of the sky; a full-sized, human-capable, flying car called the Alauda Mark 1.
The Alauda Mark 1 is an electric, low-altitude aircraft shaped like a race car. Once completed, it will be capable of carrying a single pilot and reach top speeds of more than 200km/hr. Equipped with four custom 50-kilowatt motors, and powered by the same cells used in the battery of a Tesla Model S, the Mark 1 will use robotics and sensors to ensure safety while putting the driver in control of a performance electric aircraft. Not a car and not a plane, the company has lifted the term “Airspeeder” from science fiction to describe the new vehicle category.
“It’s just time the world had flying cars. Racing will push the technology like nothing else. It’s not enough to build the speeder: we have to build the sport. We want to bring the excitement and values of Formula 1 to the sky.”
“After two years of development, we’re ready to share the Alauda Mark 1 with the world. Like any sport, we need a community of passionate people backing us. We have the prototype, we have the technology, we have the team – now we want to take it to the next level. Our Kickstarter will help us build a community and bring flying racing cars one step closer to reality.”
Alauda is one of the founding companies of the South Australian Space Innovation Complex and is in discussions with industry bodies to get the Airspeeder sky high. The targets are ambitious — the first test flight will happen early next year, with the first head-to-head race planned for late 2018.
By 2020, the company plans to hold the first Airspeeder World Championship.