Former Formula E star Bruno Senna has joined Airspeeder to stand among the world’s first electric flying car racing pilots.
Senna joins Airspeeder on the cusp of announcing its first EXA Remotely Piloted races and will play a key role in the development of the sport and the technical and dynamic development of the Speeders that will take part in it. He will also race in forthcoming remotely piloted EXA races and will play a major role in the sport as it moves towards first crewed Airspeeder GPs in 2023 and beyond.
As an early entrant into Formula E, Senna also pioneered the growth of eSports by transitioning from Formula 1 to a race winning seat in the Williams RCCO World eX Championship.
Senna will also draw upon a long-standing personal interest in UAV flying and development, and as a development pilot he will work with the company’s leading team of engineers, which consists of multi-F1 World Championship winning Ferrari composites engineer and senior talent from the development of hyper-cars at McLaren and senior Project Leaders from Airbus, Boeing and Rolls-Royce.
Commenting on the announcement, Senna said: “I could not resist the opportunity to approach Airspeeder to be part of this incredible sport. In doing so I am proud to shape the world’s first racing series for electric flying racing cars. Airspeeder combines my passions for racing, flying and being part of the development of cutting-edge technology. I cannot wait to take control of these incredible vehicles and show the world the potential of a true next generation motorsport.
“At my core I am a racer but I’m also a passionate technologist. I’ve been fascinated about the world-changing potential of the rapidly coming advanced air mobility revolution. As an Airspeeder pilot, I’m enormously excited to shape the place and space for the industry to rapidly develop the hardware and digital technologies that will deliver on the promise of electric flying cars. This is a role that motorsport has played from the start of the automobile age and I am proud to be echoing my racing forebears in pioneering a mobility revolution in the furnace of sporting competition.”
Senna joins a first intake of development pilots drawn from a diverse range of backgrounds. This includes Australia’s leading female racing driver, a highly-rated Drone Champions League (DCL) racer and one of the world’s leading FPV pilots.
The first racers were selected from more than 1,500 individuals drawn from the world’s of civil and military aviation, FPV flying, motorsport and even eSports. Senna will play a leading role in a rigorous process of training and development akin to that of an elite F1 or endurance racer. This will include banking more than 2000 collective hours on the Alauda Aeronautics 6-DoF VR simulator.
The EXA Racing Series will see elite pilots fly full sized Mk3 Speeders blade-to-blade at speeds of up to 200km/h. This will become the long-term development series for forthcoming Airspeeder crewed races. Senna and his pilot colleagues will therefore play a vital role in refining the dynamic characteristics, controls and race-craft.
The Speeders that will participate in Airspeeder races will boast the same rapid hairpin-turning capability as a Formula 1 car. With the added dimension of vertical movement, pilots will eventually pull more than 6G.
Senna and his colleagues will race across tracks presented to them utilising augmented reality technology presented to pilots on advanced Head Up Displays (HUD). This will then be relayed to viewers through a true pilot’s perspective. This is informed by Airspeeder’s philosophy to race in line with the sensibilities of an entirely new generation of race-fans.
Matt Pearson, founder of Alauda Aeronautics and Airspeeder, said: “We are proud that Bruno Senna has chosen to join the Airspeeder family as a racing and development pilot. Throughout his career he has demonstrated his incredible prowess as a pure out-and-out racer. However, Bruno is also a world-class developer of racing vehicles who is fascinated with advancing cutting-edge technologies.
“His work competing and improving vehicles in F1, Formula E, eSports and Drone Flying equip him perfectly to drive the world’s most exciting and progressive new form of motorsport. Our forthcoming EXA races represent the perfect marriage of these sports and Bruno brings to Airspeeder one of the most evocative names in global motorsport and an unrivalled pedigree in technically developing a range of racing vehicles by competing at the absolute limit.”