Ready your finest ‘Top Gun’ quotes—the Airspeeder Mk3 is here

Time to buzz the tower
by Vijay Pattni | Feb 6, 2021
PHOTO: TopGear.com

We’re one step closer, people. The future promised by noted authorities on the matter—luminaries such as The Jetsons and Back to the Future II—is drawing closer. This is your first look at a vertical-take-off-and-landing (VTOL) racing...thing.

It’s not technically a ‘car’—there are no mechanisms to allow it drive on the road—but all the literature around it says ‘car,’ and ‘flying cars’ are cool and a neat shorthand. So, let’s roll with it. Behold: the Airspeeder Mk3.

The Airspeeder Mk3 profile view

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The Airspeeder Mk3 specs and build

It’s a full-sized, remote-controlled electric VTOL vehicle, built for motorsport. Aerial motorsport. The Airspeeder series will see an entire grid of these wondrous things swapping paint up in the big blue. The company is currently building 10 of them in Australia, with the goal of supplying them to teams later this very year.

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We’re told the Mk3s feature a carbon-fiber frame and fuselage (read: strong, stiff, lightweight). Inside, it’s packed with a 96kW electric powertrain that has to power 100kg of unmanned weight. Airspeeder tells us the Mk3 is capable of over 120kph.

Due to its ‘octocopter X formation,’ each Mk3 is extremely maneuverable, able to conduct “hairpin-style turns as a Formula 1 car,” Having this format also builds in better safety, apparently, in the event of a rotor or battery fail.

The Airspeeder Mk3 rear view on ground

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Each one will feature a ‘slide and lock’ system for battery replacement. On the ground, of course, though we’d love to see a Fast and Furious-esque mid-air battery swap. Think of the ratings!

Interestingly, these Mk3s are just a taster of what we can expect, should everything go according to plan, in 2022. The Airspeeder Mk4 one-ups the Mk3 by adding fleshy humans into the mix. Each flying...thing will feature a full carbon-fiber monocoque built to house a human.

The craft has been developed and manufactured by a team drawn from such brands as McLaren, Boeing, Jaguar, Rolls-Royce, and Brabham.

The Airspeeder Mk3 Angled Top View

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Airspeeder boss Matt Pearson said: “The unveiling of the world’s first full-sized electric flying racing car is a landmark moment in the dawn of a new mobility revolution. It is competition that drives progress, and our racing series is hastening the arrival of technology that will transform clean-air passenger transport, logistics, and even advanced air mobility for medical applications.

“The world’s first electric flying car races will take place this year and will be the most exciting and progressive motorsport on the planet.”

NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.

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PHOTO: TopGear.com
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