Airspeeder has made four key appointments in its global technical, engineering and sports rights leadership teams, bringing in experience from some of the biggest firms in the aerospace, aviation, eVTOL and motorsport markets.
The company is creating the world’s first racing series for manned flying electric cars and recently completed the development programme of its Airspeer Mk3. Preparations are already being made for the next phase and the first remotely piloted races, set to take place in 2021.
Judith Griggs joins as Global Rights Acquisition and Management Lead, with her legal and commercial background spanning more than 27 years in Formula 1® – including serving as CEO of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation in Melbourne. That work established the race as a pivotal round for the sport and earned Judith the honour of Australian businesswoman of the year for that role.
She will apply her experience shaping the commerciality and global viewership of F1 to realise the global potential of electric flying car racing. Additionally, Judith will work with Airspeeder founder and CEO Matt Pearson and CCO Jack Withinshaw, in building commercial relationships and negotiating with host nations, cities and brands in addition to those already established with DHL, money management leader, EQUALS and cyber-security pioneer Acronis and their delivery partner Teknov8.
Griggs said: “The opportunity to help Airspeeder and Alauda shape the world’s first racing series for flying electric cars is irresistible. Airspeeder has the potential to be the most progressive and exciting new entity in sport. It is racing with global vision and authentic technical purpose and I am excited to work with Matt and the team to deliver on this potential through building exceptional relationships with commercial entities and racing bodies.”
Brett Hill will lead the engineering programme for both the Mk3 and Mk4 Airspeeder craft as Technical Project Manager and joins from Boeing, where he led technical projects and engineering teams on the 747-8, 787 and various military programmes. Across his career at Boeing, Brett worked in not only design and analysis, but advanced production, and will bring a particular focus on ‘design for manufacture’ to the Airspeeder programmes.
Matt Rodgers comes from Vertical Aerospace and joins as Head of Composites. He also brings senior technical motorsport leadership experience from Williams Racing, Renault F1 and Formula E. At Airspeeder, he will lead all aspects of composite design for the craft’s monocoque structural chassis. This will include building a global network of cutting-edge manufacturing partners and building a team of highly skilled technicians as part of the establishment of a UK manufacturing footprint.
Matt will also take a lead in exploring natural fibre alternatives to further reduce resource consumption.
And finally, David Wareing adds a wealth of experience from hyper-performance and luxury automotive marques and through the development of racing technology at Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR) and hypercar vehicle systems at McLaren.
Joining as Systems Engineer, Wareing has developed a systems-based approach to powertrain development supporting a multi-layer redundant architecture that maximises performance and availability though the efficient deployment of power supplies, controls and propulsion systems. His extensive experience from racing and performance car engineering brings significant knowhow in using modelling and simulation work to achieve technical objectives of delivery high-performance with safety.
Commenting on the new appointments, Pearson said: “Our vision is to accelerate a mobility revolution through intense and safe sporting competition. We know that true innovation requires the world’s best talent to deliver. Attracting exceptional minds drawn from the very highest levels of motoracing, automotive engineering, aerospace and the rapidly emerging eVTOL space will add to an extraordinarily capable team of senior engineers and technical experts that have just delivered the world’s first fully-functional remotely piloted electric flying racing car.
“This injection of technical and commercial capability will play a pivotal role as we build towards historic first un-crewed races in 2021 and the world’s first crewed electric flying car GPs in the years to follow.”