Airspeeder, a new eVTOL racing league, has completed the “world’s first electric flying vehicle race” during its first EXA Series event. In South Australia, two EXA team pilots competed utilizing remotely operated eVTOLs, launching off a development league that would eventually feed into the worldwide Grand Prix series.
Airspeeder is a London-based electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) racing league initially announced in November 2021. The company is an entity of Alauda Aeronautics, an electric aircraft startup situated in Adelaide, Australia, where the league’s technical headquarters and testing grounds are located. Alauda creates, engineers, and manufactures the league’s eVTOL aircraft.
Airspeeder performed its first remote-piloted eVTOL drag race in 2021, marking one of the company’s first major milestones toward establishing a competitive league with numerous teams racing worldwide. To begin, these remote-piloted races will be part of Airspeeder’s flagship EXA Series and will gradually expand into a series of Grand Prix held in the air in various countries.
The pilots have completed over 270 test flights and hours of simulator racing in preparation for this first flying car race, which will kick off the league’s inaugural EXA circuit race. Following the aerial event across a 1 km digital sky track, Airspeeder named Zephatali Walsh was the winner of the “world’s first electric flying car race.”
Airspeeder announced its inaugural race coupled with a video of the head-to-head competition that took place in the sky. Airspeeder pilots Zephatiali Walsh and Fabio Tishcler were granted full license to race their 4.1 meter-long eVTOLs blade-to-blade across a 1 km long computerized sky-track circuit for the first time.
To support this historic first race, they had to construct race control stations, pilot control stations, cutting-edge 5G networks, Augmented Reality (AR) Sky Tracks, and engineering and team control stations similar to those found in elite traditional motor racing. Moreover, they also had to create race rules and a comprehensive set of safety, logistics, and race management practices.
Airspeeder emphasizes that this is just the beginning after four years of preparation for this moment. More drivers will soon participate in remotely piloted EXA races, including former Formula One and Formula E driver Bruno Senna, who can be seen commentating in the video below.
The league further asserts that the growing pilot grid for the EXA Series will serve as a feeder and development series for a Grand Prix series in 2024 that will have human pilots racing inside Speeders rather than remotely from the ground.