Alauda is a young Australian company with huge ambitions. Operating out of Sydney, the team has built a number of massive octacopter prototypes, and has been documenting the builds and flight testing in the heat of the Aussie outback over the last eight months or so in a series of extremely raw and very entertaining YouTube videos.
Having successfully flown prototypes under a range of different unmanned conditions, the team is making its international public debut with demonstration flights at the upcoming Goodwood Festival of Speed and the announcement that it's planning to start manned flights this year, and an honest-to-god race series in 2020.
The final race vehicles will be a touch over 4 m (13 ft) in length and nearly 3.5 m (11.5 ft) wide, and be covered in lightweight aerodynamic bodywork reminiscent of old-school F1 cars from the 50s and 60s. They will carry humungous LiPo batteries capable of 500-kilowatt power discharge rates, and weigh somewhere around 230 kg (~500 lb) without the pilot on board. Quadcopter and coaxial octocopter versions will be available.