Meet the first official racing eVTOL Airspeeder Pilots

Jan 18 2022


Meet Emily Duggan, Fabio Tischler and Zephatali Walsh: the world’s first eVTOL flying racing car pilots. They will race Speeders in the Airspeeder and EXA race series in 2022 and beyond.

Since 2019, more than 1,500 individuals – from across the world drawn from aviation, racing, performance automotive, UAM flying and even eSports – have answered the call to become pioneers as the world’s first racing eVTOL pilots. As one of the widest talent pools ever assembled to a new form of motorsport, an exhaustive process of selection followed.

To be among this first draft, raw pilot skill is not enough: key attributes far beyond just competitive instincts were assessed in making the final choices. These individuals have been chosen because of their ability to work in lock-step with the greatest technical minds to help develop both an entirely new form of game-changing technology and the very fundamentals of a sport that promises to rapidly accelerate its development and refine a form of aerial motor-racing built from a blank sheet of paper. 

 In that sense, they are the ultimate development racing drivers and will work as a vital arm of the Alauda Aeronautics engineering team to lead an approach to refine the dynamic and tactical nuances that will make the EXA and Airspedeer races the most compelling and progressive sporting entities in the world. Now, as these historic first remotely piloted Grand Prix races draw nearer, now is the time to reveal the first pilots, supported by Telstra Purple and AWS, that will plot a course to victory and a place in the history books of both the dawn of a new sport and a new, bold era in advanced air mobility.

Emily Duggan

At heart, I am a racer. I'm joining Airspeeder to push the boundaries of motorsport and make history as the world’s first winning electric flying car racer.
Emily Duggan Airspeeder Pilot

Emily is one of Australia’s leading female racing drivers and has been recognised as a rising star in her sport. A career that started in the NSW Excel Racing Series soon progressed to becoming the first female driver to race in the Australian V8 Touring Car Series.

She has raced at Bathurst where she secured the fastest lap in the 2016 Challenge Bathurst and has since completed in both the Australian Toyota 86 Racing Series and Kumho Super3 Series. Emily is a hands-on developer of racing cars and regularly works on the mechanical elements of the machines she drives. Emily has enjoyed much success on the track, scoring 12 wins, 33 podiums and 2 poles in her career.


Zephatali Walsh

Racing has always pushed the limits of what is possible for both humans and their creations. I'm excited to help shape a flying-car future personal transport for my son’s generation.
Zephatali Walsh Airspeeder Pilot

Zephatali is a born competitor. He developed his sporting instincts as a surfer before starting a career that has seen him ascend to being one of the most admired multi-blade pilots in the world. He sees a natural progression between the sports. “The feeling of flying fast with high precision leaves me ecstatic and in awe of the experience. I want to surf the air.”

Zeph is no stranger to competitive racing in a cutting-edge sport. In 2020 Zephatali was drafted into the Drone Champions League where he competes with Raiden Racing. Like many prospective Airspeeder pilots, his background sits along with the requirements to understand the wider context of the racing he will take part in. 

Indeed his path as a student of Environmental Science has developed a fascination with the role that racing plays in creating and accelerating a new clean-air mobility revolution.

Fabio Tischler

I’m an instinctive racer and driven by my motto to ‘stop thinking and start flying’. Joining Airspeeder gives me the opportunity to make history in the incredible first flying car Grand Prix!
Fabio Tischler Airspeeder Pilot

Fabio is a world-renowned FPV drone pilot. His work has taken him around the world capturing footage from brands including Red Bull, Toyota and GoPro. A recent GoPro Million Dollar Challenge winner, Fabio’s path to racing is less than conventional. He gave up a corporate career and an education in finance to pursue his dream to unleash the potential of FPV drones to capture incredible content.

Originally born and raised in Germany, he relocated to Sydney, Australia in 2015 to pursue a dream to fly drones professionally. He soon built a large social following through the creation of some of the most captivating film content in the business. This drew the attention of Alauda Aeronautics who invited him to become part of EXA, the world’s first series for remotely-piloted electric flying racing cars.

YouTube video

Emily, Fabio and Zeph will undergo a rigorous process of training and development. This will include the logging of over 2000+ collective hours in the Alauda Aeronautics 6-DoF VR simulator, which will mimic an Alauda Mk4 circuit race within an XR environment.

Alongside Alauda’s engineers and its technical collaborators including Telstra, Amazon Web Services and NVIDIA, pilots will stress-test the Mk3 and Mk4 vehicles inside Unreal Engine to simulate racing.

Through their training programs and the races they will master the dynamics of our Alauda racing vehicles with the same thrust-to-weight ratio as an F16 fighter jet but with the added ability to perform rapid F1 car style hairpin turns. We wish them all the very best ahead of this years racing.


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