Watch the First Manned Test of a Flying Go-Kart

This is the first manned test of a flying go-kart built for racing, which happened yesterday. It’s not superfast yet — although piloting it must feel pretty fast — but it is quite amazing to see it in action.

Credit: Jetson Aero

(Image credit: Jetson Aero)

While I have a hard time imagining people using drone-like air vehicles to commute to work or go to Walmart, I definitely can imagine a true air go-kart or F1 league in a not far away future. I don’t know how the pilot safety would be handled but it won’t be much different from the speeds you get now in GP1 racing.

The flying go-kart has been developed by Jetson Areo, a polish aerospace company based in Poznan, Poland — halfway between Warsaw and Berlin.

For the first prototype the company used aircraft grade aluminum to build the chassis. After testing the frame, Jetson Aero went through different configurations of motors and propellers to the maximum thrust with the lowest possible electricity consumption. After they added the necessary electronics and a lightweight race car seat, they went on to test it — successfully,

Credit: Jetson Aero

(Image credit: Jetson Aero)

And yes, while it now looks like a hybrid between a giant drone and a go-kart, its inventors don’t want to stop at this air go-kart prototype. Their final objective is to build on this design to create an aerodynamic vehicle with a light carbon fiber composite frame, a carbon monocoque body, and fast battery charging. This, Jetson Aero promises, is how it will look:

Credit: Jetson Aero

(Image credit: Jetson Aero)

Their ultimate intention is to get the technology to the point in which power and battery durability allows pilots to race against each other. Like this:

If this is the future of high speed racing, I am in! (to watch).