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World’s First-Ever Electric Flying Drag Race Takes Motorsport to the Sky

We're seeing for the first time two electric flying cars compete in a drag race. Australian company Alauda plans to bring motorsport to the sky, and it's making great strides for that to happen. In less than a year, its Airspeeder Mk3 aircraft has advanced from a prototype to a vehicle ready to show what it can do in what it's going to be the first uncrewed racing series.
Two Airspeeder Mk3 take off in the first-ever flying drag race 6 photos
Two Mk3 aircraft take off in the first-ever flying drag race in the Australian desertsTwo Mk3 aircraft take off in the first-ever flying drag race in the Australian desertsTwo Mk3 aircraft take off in the first-ever flying drag race in the Australian desertsTwo Mk3 aircraft take off in the first-ever flying drag race in the Australian desertsTwo Mk3 aircraft take off in the first-ever flying drag race in the Australian deserts
Alauda launched its Mk3 aircraft back in February. The vehicle is actually an octocopter with four arms extending from the carbon fiber fuselage. Each of the arms has a pair of rotors for a total output of 320 kW. It boasts a thrust-to-weight ratio that exceeds that of the F-15 Strike Eagle jet, and it can reach top speeds of 200 kph (124 mph) and fly up to 500 meters (1,640 feet) high.

The recent clip released by the company shows two of its Airspeeder aircraft competing for the first time in a drag race. This is just the pre-season race that took place ahead of the official uncrewed racing series dubbed the Airspeeder EXA Series.

The video shows us a glimpse of what the real deal will look like. Team Alpha and Team Bravo, composed of Alauda engineers and official remote test pilots, flew the aircraft down a 984 ft (300 m) drag strip in the deserts of Australia.

Team Bravo left the other Mk3 far behind, crossing the finish line with a 155 kph (96 mph) speed. With this race test, Alauda is one step closer to kickstarting the Airspeeder EXA Series, which will see electric flying cars compete on an augmented reality circuit.

As remote pilots fly the MK3 aircraft from ground cockpits, an aviator will simulate the weight and movement of humans onboard. This year, up to four teams, each with two remote pilots, will participate in three different events across the world over locations inaccessible to traditional motorsport.

In 2022, the company intends to organize crewed races in which pilots will compete "prop-to-prop while traveling electronically governed racetracks in the skies."

You can watch the epic drag race in the video down below.

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