Car Culture

Airspeeder's octocopter will take motorsport to the skies at Goodwood

Flying cars are already old hat. Flying race cars are the new hotness.

As far as renderings go, this looks pretty promising. Seeing it in the sky at Goodwood will give it a bit more street (or air) cred, too.

Airspeeder

Trying to make "flying cars" a reality will take a lot of work, whether it's related to airspace regulation or simply creating something that could be considered a flying car. But already, one company is thinking well past using newfangled aircraft as a replacement for passenger cars and instead turning its attention to racing.

Airspeeder appeared out of thin air this week to announce a new kind of racing series that involves aircraft instead of traditional race cars. Making its debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this week, Airspeeder will have both static and moving displays of its craft, ahead of a planned debut for its racing series in 2020.

The group claims that the Airspeeder racing series will combine "the format of Formula E, the thrills of air racing and the glamor of F1," which sounds like one heck of a tall order. During Goodwood's festivities, the company will have its aircraft fly around an aerial track at the Goodwood Aerodrome. There will also be a static display for its race plane, the Airspeeder Mk.IV.

Alauda Racing, an Australian startup that hopes to eventually deploy its idea of an airborne sports car, developed the Airspeeder Mk.IV. It's not technically a plane, per se -- it's actually an eight-rotor octocopter that's capable of jetting in excess of 125 miles per hour. Airspeeder (the group, not the aircraft) pointed out that the Mk.IV has a power-to-weight ratio "superior to an F-18 fighter jet," which is quite the lofty claim.

If the racing series kicks off in 2020, it will consist of multiple Grands Prix at different motorsport venues across the globe, although it declined to specify which ones. Airspeeder Mk.IV pilots will compete in timed trials and head-to-head races about 65 feet off the ground. Testing is scheduled to begin in the Mojave Desert in November.