Flying cars are not even really a thing yet but the first race is already being organized. According to the website TransportUp two of its own vehicles developed with Airspeeder will race in South Australia before the end of the year. The Airspeeders are each capable of carrying a pilot but will be unmanned and remotely piloted for the race. “We’re working on that with the authorities—so not yet, but it is in process and we hope very soon we’ll have that possibility,” Alauda co-founder Matt Pearson told the website. The race will be held in Coober Pedy, a small remote town in northern Southern Australia that has what TransportUp says is an “extraterrestrial-style” landscape.

The vehicle is described as a cross between a racing drone and a Formula 1 race car and will go 124 MPH. It has flown in demo flights, including a public flight that didn’t go so well, but that’s all part of the learning curve according to Pearson. He said it’s been a big year on the technological development side of things in the electric VTOL business. “With electric aviation, with the drone industry, with the autonomous vehicle industry boom—all the technology that makes autonomous electric cars possible, are making the electric flying cars industry,” he said.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.


  1. They could hold it during the winter golf tournament. The Coober Pedy golf club course is all “rough” with only the black “greens” remotely flat. They are kept that way by raking the used-motor-oil-soaked pea-gravel that stands in for grass. There are no teeing grounds. Players bring an astroturf doormat for that purpose, and for some of the more challenging lies that one finds oneself in. Make your lodging reservations early if you are claustrophobic; there are only a few places to stay and practically no rooms are above ground.

  2. A couple of questions:
    1. Is it possible UrbanMobilityTransportDronies consider anything outside of an urban setting to appear “extraterrestrial”?
    2. Does anyone remember the jam-packed grandstands and the throngs of people at the fences to watch slot car races?

  3. This will be a hoot with the Aussie’s need for speed combined with their fun with competitive mayhem. Australian car builders turbocharge anything and everything. 1200-3000HP street machines are nothing new. Adding to the mix of their competitive automobile engineering prowess and abilities to fabricate just about anything from metal, composites, and wood, their RC competitiveness in building and flying large, scale, aircraft/helos/drones/jets.

    My prediction: Initial competition will follow rules similar to a One Design aerobatic contest. All will start with a Terrafugia. The winner will be a clipped wing Terrafugia powered by a twin turbo Holden built LS3, fabbed entirely out of carbon fiber using the original Terrafugia prototype static test air-frame as the mold. It will be an all wheel drive automatic on the ground with four wheel, quarter mile, tire annihilating burnouts (sure to be a crowd pleaser) routinely done as a warm up followed by four, retractable 750HP Siemens motors powering four controllable MT custom modified propellers coming out of this tire frying, E-85 burning twin turbo LS3’s body. The vertical acceleration will be similar to the horizontal quarter mile burnout ET. It will be flown by a guy or gal who is always smiling saying “hold my frostie, mate”, who then flies a lap around the pylons at 250MPH+. Of course, he or she gets blackflagged for busting the 124mpg speed limit. But hey, who cares, as he or she now has the bragging rights as the fastest, remotely piloted flying car. The added surprise will be another Aussie racer climbing out of this supposedly unmanned flight exclaiming ” can we do this again?”. And all of this will be showcased on Roadkill Extra. That will be call for a round of “bevvies” followed with new rules for 2022 allowing for 300mph speeds.

    I would not be surprised that there will be Australian national drone “pulls” as a result. This could go global in very short order.

  4. It”s not a car, so it’s disqualified from a race where they need to have flying cars to enter.