Maca unveils its improved hydrogen-powered flying racecar at CES 2023

New partnerships with Red Bull Advanced Technologies and SEGULA Technologies to help advance testing timelines.
Jijo Malayil
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S11

MACA 

French startup Maca Flight has unveiled its first hydrogen-powered flying race car concept with improved design and new strategic partners at CES (Consumer Electronics Show) 2023.  

To advance its vision of holding test flights in 2023, the firm has now partnered with Red Bull Advanced Technologies and SEGULA Technologies. "We are thrilled to have secured strategic partnerships with Red Bull Advanced Technologies and SEGULA Technologies, both of which are providing us with needed resources to bring our new S11 flying racecar to flight,” said Christian Pineau, CEO of Maca, in a release.

The firm debuted the Maca S11 at CES 2022, its carcopter, which is a combination of a car and helicopter, designed for speed and sustainability. The vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) flying car is 100% eco-friendly as it is made from a fully-recyclable material called strong flax fiber. Maca S11 can attain a top speed of 155 mph (250 kph).

Promising specifications of Maca S11

The VTOL, intended to operate solely on a racetrack, features a 23-foot-long (7 m) body with a metal chassis and a frame made of carbon, linen, and wood. The S11 offers room for a single-pilot operation and comes with collision avoidance technology to further a safer racing experience. 

S11 comes with three pairs of electric-powered rotors and six electric motors, all powered by hydrogen fuel cells. A 40kg carbon fiber tank is used to store hydrogen fuel on the S11 and the energy produced by this setup is comparable to a 150-200-kg lithium-ion battery pack. 

"The team chose to power the S11 vehicle by eco-friendly hydrogen-based fuel cells not only because it leaves no impact on the environment, but it also delivers longer flight times than vehicles powered by electricity or fossil fuels," according to Xavier Chambrin, MACA’s Chief Technology Officer. 

How new partnerships can help Maca 

The startup's decision to contain S11 to racetracks, partially to bypass stringent testing parameters for passenger operations. This is where a partnership with Red Bull Advanced Technologies, a high-performance engineering division of Red Bull Racing, becomes vital for Maca. "Operating in the auto racing world within a closed environment, around a racetrack, we do not need the same certifications one needs to fly elsewhere, easing the product testing process. Red Bull is renowned in the sports world, so our enthusiasm for working with them is understandable.”

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SEGULA Technologies, a global engineering firm, brings with it expertise across multiple industries, including automotive and aerospace. "In automotive particularly, SEGULA is noted for helping make vehicles safer, more autonomous, environmentally friendly and connected." 

Having inked strategic partnerships with Red Bull Advanced Technologies and SEGULA Technologies, the firm has reiterated its commitment to conducting its first official flight in late 2023. The car is estimated to be priced at around €500,000 ($573K).