Want to know what the future of manned drone racing could look like? Hop right in, because this video by a Filipino innovator shows real people, in real single-seater flying cars, racing each other!
Around the world, companies are pouring big money into trialing passenger drones and air taxis. From China’s autonomous aerial vehicle pioneers EHang to Germany’s drone taxi manufacturer Volocopter, technology leaders are in consensus that electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft are the future of urban air mobility.
Turns out, eVTOL aircraft are the future of urban air sports also. And a video by Australia-based green mobility technology company, Star 8 Green, proves that.
The video shows two single-seater flying cars, EMAV, developed by the head of Star 8 Green’s eVTOL program, Kyxz Mendiola (Kyxz is pronounced as “kicks”).
Mendiola is a Filipino drone enthusiast whose indigenously developed eVTOL aircraft, Koncepto Millenya, has previously caught DroneDJ’s attention too.
In the video that you’re about to see, the red aerial vehicle is piloted by Mendiola himself. Controlling the green flying car is Jason Mabansay Ampongan, an electrical engineer.
The video opens with Mendiola gesturing a thumbs-up from a helipad, just like a race car driver would do on the pit road. No sooner than he takes off, we see Ampongan pursuing Mendiola hotly. The two flying cars then complete laps inside an open field.
Full disclosure, the video isn’t so much about an actual racing competition as it is about showing the possibilities of what flying car racing tournaments could look like in the future.
In any case, the duo is going down in history as the first eVTOL pilots to attempt manned drone racing. Let’s watch the video:
EMAV flying racing car: specs and features
The EMAV sports flying car has been designed for air racing with a maximum speed of 50 mph or 80kmph at a cruising altitude of 100 meters. Right now, the vehicle provides a flight time of 20 minutes, but Mendiola is already working to bring that up to 30 minutes.
To ensure that the aircraft is lightweight and simple to operate, an open cockpit design with four fixed landing legs has been observed. On Koncepto Millenya’s Facebook page, Mendiola describes the EMAV flying racing car as eco-friendly and low-maintenance. The aerial vehicle is foldable and compact for easy storage, and capable of supporting solar power. Pointing to the simplicity of operations, the inventor also insists that anyone can learn to fly it in just one day.
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