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Flying car race scheduled for end of the year in the Australian Outback where Mad Max was filmed

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Flying car race scheduled for end of the year in the Australian Outback at the site of the original Mad Max film production

  • Airspeeder will host an exhibition race of flying cars in the Australian Outback
  • The company hopes the event could become the F1 of the 21st century
  • The first race will take place with remote-piloted vehicles outside the remote town of Coober Pedy, where the original Mad Max films were shot

A new tech startup has announced plans to hold a flying car race in Australia before the end of 2020, the first of what it hopes will be a series of events that could become the 21st century version of F1.

Organized by Airspeeder, a tech startup with offices in Adelaide and London, the race will feature two remotely piloted flying cars, racing through the outskirts of Coober Pedy, a small town in the Australian Outback used as the setting for the original Mad Max films.

The first race is planned as a public exhibition, with support from Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority, and Airspeeder hopes it will be the first of an international circuit of races that could expand to include piloted vehicles.

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Airspeeder will debut what it hopes will become a circuit of flying car races before the end of 2020 in the Australian Outback, which the company believes could become the 21st century F1

Airspeeder will debut what it hopes will become a circuit of flying car races before the end of 2020 in the Australian Outback, which the company believes could become the 21st century F1

‘Le Mans, Bathurst, Monaco, there are these amazing places where we’ve seen the birth of new sports,’ Airspeeder’s Matt Pearson told ABC News.

‘This is such a great place for us to basically create that next iconic place for racing.’

In addition to Coober Pedy, the company says future races could be held in the Mojave Desert in California, and two other unannounced international locations are being developed.  

Airspeeder believes a major international racing event could not only help the company refine its technology and lead to a new tourist boom in the Outback.

‘We hope it’s going to be fantastic for tourism — anything that’s exciting, new and innovative is perfect for Coober Pedy,’ Pearson said.

‘Where else would you see flying cars in an alien landscape?’

The first race will feature two remote-piloted drones, and the company hopes the events could become an international circuit of events, with other locations including the Mojave Desert, and two unannounced sites

The first race will feature two remote-piloted drones, and the company hopes the events could become an international circuit of events, with other locations including the Mojave Desert, and two unannounced sites

The flying cars, sometimes called air taxis, were modeled after F1 cars, with four propellor mounts placed around a narrow torpedo-like shell.

The current design is around 13 feet long and three feed tall, and can reach a top speed of 124 miles per hour.

They can travel to a maximum height of 2,950 feet, weigh a little over 500 pounds, and according to AirSpeeder, have a greater power-to-weight ratio than an F1 car of fighter jet thanks to a powertrain driven by a 500 kilowatt battery.

According to Pearson, the design could eventually be even safer and less failure prone than a helicopter.

Airspeeder's Matt Pearson praised the Australian government's support for the project and predicted the events could drive new waves of tourism to the Outback. 'Where else would you see flying cars in an alien landscape?' he said

Airspeeder’s Matt Pearson praised the Australian government’s support for the project and predicted the events could drive new waves of tourism to the Outback. ‘Where else would you see flying cars in an alien landscape?’ he said

‘A helicopter has thousands of moving parts, and a single point of failure which makes them very expensive to maintain,’ Pearson said.

‘An air taxi has about 16 moving parts and about half of those are redundant, so it’s a very safe, very stable platform.’

Pearson praised the openness of the Australian government in supporting both their work and the test drone industry as a whole, having also approved major test drone projects from Google and Amazon.

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