World’s First Flying Electric Car Race Just Happened
One of the most exciting developments coming within the decade is flying cars. After decades of attempts and dreams, it is happening now because of vertical take-off and landing or “VTOL” technology. And within that realm, flying car racing opens a whole new universe of possibilities and entertainment. Now, the first-ever flying electric car race has happened in Australia, making the sport a reality.
How fast were the flying race cars?
The Airspeeders have completed over 270 test flights so far. These are the 13.4-foot-long eVTOLs that will race in the series. Right now, racing takes place at the Lake Lochiel salt flats near Adelaide, South Australia. Two MK3 Airspeeders competed as testing continues. Pilots use simulators for now, with the next step being remote racing. Both pilots have spent thousands of hours with the simulators.
Those pilots were Zephatali Walsh for the silver team and Fabio Tischler for the black team. The course is just under two-thirds of a mile. There are breaks for pitstops to quickly replace batteries. In this first race, the black team hit 63.3 mph top speed and a high lap time of 0.39 seconds. For the silver team, it was slightly behind at 61.5 seconds at 0.44 seconds.
What was the flying race car event like?
According to the EXA, Walsh’s Airspeeder flew 3.2-feet below Tischler’s. It isn’t clear whether the positioning made any difference but the average lap for the silver team was 0:39 with an average speed of 62.1 mph. For the black team, it was 0:43 seconds and a 61.5 mph average. By the end of this year, 10 teams with 20 Airspeeders will be racing.
EXA is the sanctioning body for the Airspeeder air races. Each race course is a digitally-governed space in the air. Robots receive inputs that mimic humans, for now. This is a proving ground for future race pilots to hon their racing instincts to eventually fly these machines in these races.
Are there more races planned?
Only select enthusiasts and media will attend the races. But global live streaming of the races will be available. There are also plans for interactivity between racers and fans, though that has not been revealed as of yet.
What has been revealed is that viewers will be able to monitor the same visual feeds the racing teams see. It also includes viewing pit stops where teams swap out batteries at a fast pace. The current best time of 55 seconds is what it takes to change two rapid-charge batteries.
While the first few races will take place in Australia, there are also scheduled races for the deserts outside of Los Angeles. So Airspeeder electric flying race cars are a reality, ramping up its international exposure and its technology for the immediate future.