It’s Possible That This Hydrogen-Powered Aircraft Will Kickstart Zero-Carbon Formula One Racing

13th January, 2022.      //   Technology  // 

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Start your fuel cells, Racers!

When compared to some of its opponents, the hydrogen-powered Carcopter S 11 may have started slowly, but it has certainly joined the race to become the first alternative-powered VTOL racer. Alauda, a competitor, not only has a functional full-scale prototype of its Airspeeder, but it has also performed a short drag race between two remotely controlled models, establishing itself as the early frontrunner to develop a zero-carbon F1 circuit in the works.

However, Maca, a French startup, disclosed its ambitions for the Carcopter a year ago and debuted a one-third scale model at CES last week.

Former fighter pilot Thierry de Boisvilliers and aviation executive Michael Krollak spent three years creating the Carcopter’s concept during an internal invention competition at Airbus. They created Maca to develop and sell the craft, specializing in racing culture. To overcome all regulatory hurdles before conceptual development ever began, we applied existing requirements and certifications to our craft beginning with the initial design phase, allowing us to overcome all regulatory hurdles before conceptual development ever began,” says de Boisvilliers, CEO of the racing industry. “As an added bonus, the Carcopter S 11 will be fueled by environmentally friendly hydrogen-based fuel cells, which have no environmental impact while delivering more autonomy than vehicles powered by electricity or fossil fuels.”

Three duo-rotors and six electric motors running on hydrogen create 200 kW of power in the single-seat car. It will have a top speed of 155 mph, according to the manufacturer. To avoid hitting stationary objects or other racers, the craft has a collision-avoidance system built in.

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The Carcopter will be racing the Alauda Airspeeder (above) to determine which company will have the first F1 air-racing circuit. – Credit: Courtesy Alauda

Carcopter testing over local car courses, according to De Boisvilliers, will be possible due to the connection to the race scene. In a safe, controlled environment, the company can install trackside sensors to maximize control and feedback during flight while pushing the limits.

To go on market in 2023, Maca aims to test the prototypes in the air this year. Although it may be a step behind Alauda, the Carcopter can quickly make up ground if it gives a greater experience. Each circuit should, at the very least, accelerate the development of the technologies and infrastructure required to make flying zero-carbon speedsters a possibility. How to fly one around your nearby surroundings

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