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Launched at the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed, Airspeeder is a racing eVTOL designed to become what the company says will be a "highly efficient and highly effective flying car for commercial use."Airspeeder CEO Matt Pearson likens the Airspeeder to merging an F1 racing car with a racing drone. Some lucky drivers will dart aboard these cars in a competitive series around the planet. With on-board cameras and running speeds of up to 125 mph, the series promises spectacular shots, along with an innovative spectator experience thanks to the many cameras on board. Pearson says the series will go beyond just running, and help develop eVTOL technology for the future of Urban Air Mobility (UAM).The Airspeeder is built around a 500 kW battery pack that is structured on the plane’s four arms and ends with four 24 kW electric motor rotors at each end. The aircraft weighs 550 pounds and can carry up to 2,200 pounds, which is a better power-to-weight ratio than a Formula 1 car. It will rely on the LiDAR program to avoid obstacles. Like most large drones, Airspeeders are built to ensure safety and control, and its parts are easily replaceable.Mike Hirschberg, executive director of the Vertical Flight Society, says eVTOL air travel can also advance safety for Urban Air Mobility networks. "Just as motor racing has led to the safety technologies now needed for consumer vehicles, the development of high-performance eVTOL racing aircraft will also facilitate rapid safety innovation."Pearson says the Airpseeder is currently undergoing advanced testing. Most of the tests were carried out on the unmanned MK2 eVTOL, which successfully completed the tests in 2019. The team is now working with US Air Force and Martin Aviation test pilots on the new MK3s in california’s Mojave Desert.airspeeder.com
April 2020 © Mediterranean Yachting Magazine
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