Two “flying cars” have gone head to head in South Australia’s outback during testing for a possible high-speed aerial racing competition.

Key points:

  • Airspeeder says the technology could eventually be used to “liberate urban environments from congestion”
  • The company is aiming to hold official races in the near future
  • It says the racing arm of its operation will help with the development of the technology

The large drone-like aircraft flew faster than 100 kilometres per hour 10 metres above the ground during the trial by Airspeeder near the Flinders Ranges last month.

Airspeeder and aircraft manufacturer Alauda Aeronautics are hoping the vehicles will eventually be able to carry on-board pilots, but they were flown by remote control for the 400-metre drag race.

“Race events will see a grid of full-scale electric flying cars known as ‘speeders’ race blade-to-blade in landscapes where motorsport has never been before,” Airspeeder said in a statement.

“The two-day testing period proved an important showcase of live race conditions that teams and pilots will face in the forthcoming [racing series].”

Airspeeder says it is recruiting pilots from motorsport, e-sports, and aviation.(Supplied: Airspeeder)

High hopes

Airspeeder is hoping its first races can take place in the near future with unmanned vehicles, ahead of a crewed racing series next year.

It previously said it wanted the vehicles to be racing by the end of 2020.

“Airspeeder will soon make announcements on the first tranche of teams that have committed to these historic first electric flying car grand prix and the locations in which they will be staged,” the company said.

Test flights took place earlier this year under the observation of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.

Airspeeder’s engineers split into two teams for the test.(Supplied: Airspeeder)

Airspeeder has lofty ambitions for the technology.

“[Pilots] will play the same role pioneer racing drivers did at the genesis of the automotive and aviation eras in accelerating a new mobility revolution,” it said.

“[We have] created the motor racing arm of this new form of transport, and with it a place and a space for the industry to rapidly develop key safety, performance and digital technologies.

Posted , updated