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airspeeder mk4 darts in the sky as the world's fastest hydrogen-fueled eVTOL aircraft

Alauda Aeronautics designs eVTOL airspeeder Mk4

 

Alauda Aeronautics wants a high-speed, manned flying race car. It designs a vehicle-looking aircraft suitable for track racing, and instead of installing wheels, it chucks in four rotors on the side of the car. The result springs through the Airspeeder Mk4, a flying race car-shaped aircraft fueled by hydrogen that the company claims as the world’s fastest eVTOL. The new aircraft is a development of the remotely-piloted Mk3, which has successfully completed more than 350 test flights.

 

Artificial intelligence and 3D printing also come into play in the design and function of Airspeeder Mk4. While most eVTOLs steer using tilt-rotors, the Mk4 voes and flies using an in-house designed gimballed thrust system, where an Artificial Intelligence flight controller individually adjusts four rotor pairs mounted on lightweight 3D-printed gimbals. ‘In fact, it handles less like a multicopter and more like a jet fighter or Formula 1 racing car,’ the company describes.

evtol airspeeder mk4
images courtesy of Alauda Aeronautics

 

 

The 3D printing techniques also show up in Airspeeder Mk4’s combustor which is incorporated in its engine. The design is believed to keep the hydrogen flame temperature relatively low, reducing nitrous oxide emissions.

 

The use of hydrogen is a conscious choice for the company since the design team sees it as having a high energy density and the ability to be stored in a lightweight, compact form, making it suitable for small aircraft.

 

‘It’s also non-toxic and produces no emissions except pure water, so it doesn’t cause air pollution. Further to this, because hydrogen gas is lighter than air, it will simply rise and disperse into the atmosphere in the event of a leak, reducing the risk of fire or explosion,’ the company says.

evtol airspeeder mk4
the eVTOL has four rotors on the side

 

 

From zero to 360 kph in just 30 seconds

 

Designed and built in Adelaide, South Australia, the Airspeeder Mk4 from Alauda Aeronautics is said to be the world’s fastest electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft whose capability to reach a top speed of 360 kph or 225 mph in just 30 seconds from a standing start might prove it.

 

The eVTOL is intended primarily for racing, designed for maximum agility at high speeds and low altitudes.  Specs buff may find it interesting that the eVTOL Airspeeder Mk4 has a take-off weight of just 950 kilos with a projected range of 300 km or 188 miles while ‘producing near-zero emissions.’

 

The race-designed aircraft is powered by a 1,000 kW turbogenerator that feeds power to its batteries and motors. Specifically designed for use in eVTOLs, the eVTOL allows green hydrogen to be used as fuel, providing safe, reliable, and sustainable power over long distances and flight times. 

evtol airspeeder mk4
the aircraft can reach a top speed of 360 kph

 

 

Airspeeder Mk4 goes into flight tests

 

Alauda Aeronautics plans to begin flight testing the Mk4 chassis and powertrain, including the first crewed flights of the airframe, in the first quarter of 2023 while the aircraft will be ready to participate in the Airspeeder Racing Championship in 2024. In the meantime, the company is already looking into the possibility of developing private flying cars as a viable means of urban transport.

 

Matt Pearson, CEO, Alauda Aeronautics says, that ‘in conventional aerospace, there are about as many private jets as there are commercial jets in operation. We believe it could be the same with flying cars one day, with a roughly similar number of commercial taxis and private cars initially. Today, private cars outnumber taxis by about 300 to one, so the potential for people to own and drive their own flying car one day is absolutely enormous. It’s a very exciting time.’

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eVTOL Airspeeder Mk4 from Alauda Aeronautics

evtol airspeeder mk4
its design looks like a mix of racing car and aircraft

evtol airspeeder mk4
rotors close-up

evtol airspeeder mk4
the eVTOL allows green hydrogen to be used as fuel

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eVTOL Airspeeder Mk4 from Alauda Aeronautics

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