The world's first flying bike can stay in the air for 40 minutes
A Japanese start-up designed a high-speed flying motorcycle that has been unveiled at an auto show.
The world's first flying bike was showcased on Thursday at the Detroit Auto Show, according to a report published by Euronews.
It’s called the XTurismo hoverbike and it is capable of flying for 40 minutes and reaching speeds of up to 100 kilometers per hour (62 miles an hour).
This isn’t the first time we feature this bad boy. In January of 2022, it was reported that its maker AERWINS Technologies was already taking deposits for the first commercial units of its machine.
Taking the bike for a test drive
However, now Euronews reported that people actually took the bike for a test drive and had plenty of good things to say.
Thad Szott, the co-chair of the Motor City's auto show, was one of the first to give it a try and said: "I mean, it's awesome! Of course, you have a little apprehension, but I was just so amped. I literally had goosebumps and feel like a little kid.”
He also added that he sees great potential in the bike: "I think we'll start with delivering goods and services, maybe by drone. It's ready for today's world if you go airport to airport. But I'm anxious to see when we can go neighborhood to neighborhood. So, let's get it worked out.”
For those who can’t wait to get their hands on this hovering bike, the craft is already on sale in Japan, and a smaller version should be available in the US in 2023 for $777,000.
The company is also looking to make a smaller electric model by 2025 for the price of a mere $50,000, which is pretty good for a craft that can actually fly, albeit for a short period.
How does the bike work? It uses two large central rotors powered by a 228-hp gas-powered Kawasaki motorcycle performance engine for thrust. Four smaller electric support rotors are also placed on the vehicle's outer edges for stability.
There’s no word yet on how the electric version will work, but there’s bound to be some exciting engineering behind it.
Currently, the hoverbike's lightweight carbon fiber body weighs only 660 lbs (299 kg), and it's roughly 12 feet long (3.65 m). The vehicle also uses an automatic control unit designed to enhance safety.
Will these attributes make it compatible as an electric model? Only time will tell.
Limited use options
Due to strict regulations for such machines in Japan, the XTurismo has limited use options. For now, it is only allowed to fly, or hover, on race tracks.
Perhaps that’s why its maker stated in January that it was only planning to produce 200 units, making it a niche luxury product.
The company did also add at the time that it eventually wants to mass-produce all-electric hoverbikes for urban use and even for disaster response and search and rescue.
Will the XTurismo see widespread adoption in and beyond Japan or will it remain a fun but ultimately not very useful product for the few who can afford to buy it only to ride it on tracks?
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