Australia bid goodbye to local automobile manufacturing this past October as the final Holden Commodore rolled off the assembly line, but perhaps the country will be at the forefront of another transportation sector: flying cars. One Aussie's idea isn't an unmanned transportation pod, however. Entrepreneur Matt Pearson wants flying cars to race.
Pearson has quietly been working on manned racing drones for the past two years and he announced his ambitions to bring motorsport to the sky. The Airspeeder World Championship could begin at a small scale sometime next year, according to Pearson, with the racing taking place in the desert. It would expand to a global racing series early next decade. As for the flying cars themselves, they don't actually have wheels. Rather, the drones feature four 50-kilowatt (67 horsepower) electric motors to power the vehicle's rotors.
The idea stems from the project Pearson is working on through his company, Alauda Racing, which will build and race its own flying car. Pearson is currently working with regulatory officials to certify his prototype. Alauda Racing has spent the past two years working on its first drone and recently built a large-scale concept to accommodate a pilot. Pearson plans to remotely test the drone in 2018 before manned tests occur in 2019.
Pearson wants air racing to channel vintage motorsports. He says the design of his prototype recalls the grand prix racers of the 1950s and 1960s
The Australian entrepreneur is hopeful air racing will be the next big thing and wants to build the "Ferrari of the sky." He's already laid down the challenge for other companies and brands.
"If you’re up to it come and race us in 2020," he said.
Those interested can support Pearson's project via a Kickstarter campaign, which launched on December 12.