Posts tagged with "flying car"

AeroMobil

AeroMobil: The World’s First Flying Car

By Krish Narsinghani

As of late, 360 Magazine, had the opportunity to sit down with AeroMobil’s Chief Commercial Officer, Karl Hermanns, to discuss the first ever vehicle to fly and drive, the AeroMobil 4.0. The 360 team witnessed its beauty in-person and sat in the two-passenger cockpit whilst asking all the burnings questions that would be flying through one’s head. No pun intended.

Coming from the luxury brand and art space, Hermanns, was recently onboarded to strategize the launch plans and release for later this year. Currently in the soft launch phase, the world can expect the Aeromobil to be available for pre-order later this year and delivered to the first customers in 2024. With hundreds of hours of flight testing, the prototype is currently in Europe.

“We’ve all seen flying cars in movies and Science-Fiction for years and years. It’s finally real and will be in the sky two years from now… it’s an engineering miracle,” Hermanns pointed.

The 4.0 model number attached to the name stems from the 4th iteration of design for the craft – it’s been in development for about ten years. Each iteration has advanced the aerodynamics, technology and overall flight experience. For hundreds of years, it’s been impossible to get the science right but the engineering team, based in Europe, have solved travel hybridity for the first time. An engineer from the team was on-site and explained that the hardest challenge was getting the weight and proportions right of the two-ton beast to ensure proper takeoff when thinking of adding two passengers, fuel and baggage.

From an opening glance, the model screams Back to the Future. With wings spanning a total of thirty feet, the AeroMobil was the hottest attraction for guests wandering the Petersen Automotive Museum. The invention is fully automated with the wings folding into the body of the vehicle in under 90 seconds. It’s similar to those of a bird or insect the way it functions. It’s twenty feet in length and slender look may have a driver intimated at first, when in actuality, it’s size is comparable to that of an F-150 or Escalade. It’s worth noting that a four-seater version is also in design meant to be used as a ride-sharing service. Call it a “flying Uber” if you will, measured at an untapped 70 billion dollar market.

The vehicle wasn’t designed to compete with hyper cars at lightning speeds but for the intended use of traveling between land and air. Top driving speed is set at 100mph while flying spews a solid 160mph and 300 horsepower. With a range of 320 miles driving and 460 miles flying, passengers can minimize travel time and compete full trips with the one fuel up.

Comparatively, fully electric flying vehicles might be coming the market soon, but as of now they are less far along in terms of milage range. eVTOL (Electric Vertical Take-off and Landing) vehicles have a subsequently shorter flying distances of ten miles or so at a time, due to batteries weighing down the aircraft. The AeroMobil can be fueled at any normal gas station and only requires a 400 yard ramp for takeoff and landing. Talk about conveniency when saving more time driving all day, beating out traffic, and even dealing with delays at the the airport!

A light aircraft private pilot’s license is required to fly. Forty hours of training are required to get said license. A massive portion of the ten thousand landing strips are under utilized but are open to the public, plus infrastructure that’s already built. The AeroMobil will be priced at approximately two million USD.

A show model is currently available for viewing at the Petersen Museum in Los Angeles. Watch the commercial at the following link.

AeroMobil Show Model

First Electric Flying Car

In the summer of 2019, Alauda Aeronautics and Airspeeder Founder, Matt Pearson outlined a vision to create the most exciting next-generation motorsport on the planet. In doing so, accelerating the arrival of the flying car mobility revolution we have been promised for generations. 

Since then, a dedicated team of engineers, technical and sports rights minds drawn from the most celebrated names in motorsport, performance automotive, and aviation have developed the world’s first and only fully functioning electric flying racing cars. 

World’s First Remotely Piloted Flying Car Races

These vehicles will soon take place in a series of groundbreaking races named the EXA Series. These historic first electric flying car Grand Prix will be driven by the world’s best Speeder pilots. They will race blade-to-blade at speeds of up to 300 km/h in locations where racing has never taken place before. This EXA Series is the permanent development formula for the forthcoming Airspeeder crewed electric flying car races. As such, the competitors that have been chosen to take part will embark upon an extraordinary development journey, ascending from elite remote pilots into true history makers as the world’s first competitors in the forthcoming Airspeeder crewed races. 

Ready to Race 

These next-generation racing machines publicly flew for the first time in the summer of 2021 through development flights that have taken place in secret locations across the deserts of South Australia. While the technical team worked tirelessly to engineer and validate these revolutionary flying vehicles, more than 1,500 individuals applied to become history makers and pioneers as the world’s first electric flying car racing pilots. Indeed, in June 2019, Matt Pearson stood at the Agility Prime gathering of the world’s elite civil and military pilots and announced an open invitation to pilots. This drew the widest talent pool ever assembled to a new form of motorsport. Thousands of individuals from across the world drawn from aviation, racing, performance automotive, UAM flying, and even eSports answered the call to make history as the world’s first electric flying car pilots. 

An exhaustive process of selection followed. Key attributes far beyond just competitive instincts were assessed in making the final choices. To be among this initial number, raw pilot skill is not enough. These individuals have been chosen because of their ability to work in lockstep with the greatest technical minds to help develop both an entirely new form of game-changing technology and the very fundamentals of a sport that promises to rapidly accelerate its development. These women and men are therefore not only elite-level competitors but also proved an extraordinary level of sensitivity to the technical requirements to test and refine a form of aerial motor-racing built from a blank sheet of paper. 

In that sense, they are the ultimate development racing drivers and will work as a vital arm of the Alauda Aeronautics engineering team to lead an approach to refine the dynamic and tactical nuances that will make the EXA and Airspeeder races the most compelling and progressive sporting entities in the world. Now, as these historic first remotely piloted Grand Prix races draw nearer, now is the time to reveal the first pilots that will plot a course to victory and a place in the history books of both the dawn of a new sport and a new, bold era in advanced air mobility. 

In Profile: The World’s First Electric Flying Car Racing Pilots 

Emily Dugan, Racing Driver: Emily is Australia’s most successful current racing driver. She has been recognized as a rising star woman in sport. She started in the NSW Excel Racing Series, but soon progressed to becoming the first female driver to race in the Australian V8 Touring Car Series. She has raced at Bathurst where she secured Fastest Lap in the 2016 Challenge Bathurst and has since completed in both the Australian Toyota 86 Racing Series and Kumho Super3 Series. Emily is a hands-on developer of racing cars and regularly works on the mechanical elements of the machines she drives. Emily has enjoyed much success on the track, scoring 12 wins, 33 podiums, and 2 poles in her career. 

Zephatali Walsh, RPAS Pilot: Zephatali is a born competitor. He developed his sporting instincts as a surfer before starting a career that has seen him ascend to being one of the most admired multi-blade pilots in the world. He sees a natural progression between the sports. “The feeling of flying fast with high precision leaves me ecstatic and in awe of experience. I want to surf the air.” He is no stranger to competitive racing in a cutting-edge sport. In 2020, Zephatali was drafted into the Drone Champions League where he competed with Raiden Racing. Like many prospective Airspeeder pilots, his background sits along with the requirements to understand the wider context of the racing he will take part in. Indeed, his path as a student of Environmental Science has developed a fascination with the role that racing plays in creating and accelerating a new clean-air mobility revolution. 

Fabio Tischler, FPV Pilot: Fabio is a world-renowned FPV drone pilot. His work has taken him around the world capturing footage from brands including Red Bull, Toyota, and Go Pro. Fabio’s path to racing is less than conventional. He gave up a corporate career and an education in finance to pursue his dream to unleash the potential of FPV drones to capture incredible content. Originally born and raised in Germany, he relocated to Sydney, Australia in 2015 to pursue a dream to fly drones professionally. He soon built a large social following through the creation of some of the most captivating film content in the business. This drew the attention of Alauda who invited him to become part of EXA.

Testing, Development, and Racing 

This first intake of pilots will undergo a rigorous process of training and development. This will include the logging of over 2000+ collective hours in the Alauda Aeronautics 6-DoF VR simulator, which will mimic an MK4 circuit race within an XR environment. Pilots will stress-test the Mk3 and Mk4 vehicles inside Unreal Engine to simulate racing. 

Through their training programs and the races, they will master the dynamics of the racing vehicle with the same thrust-to-weight ratio as an F16 fighter jet but with the added ability to perform rapid F1 car style hairpin turns. Through uncrewed EXA races and crewed Airspeeder races the latest augmented reality technology will be proven. This will seamlessly display the digital sky tracks that will define race courses in some of the most remote and visually arresting scenery in the world. 

A full suite of safety systems will also be pioneered. A systems-based approach to safety integrating attest LiDAR and RADAR systems in a suite of technologies termed the ‘Virtual Force Field’ will free the pilots to compete in blade-to-blade proximity without the risk of colliding.

Airspeeder Pilots via Airspeeder Press for use by 360 Magazine
Airspeeder Drone via Airspeeder press for use by 360 Magazine