Three Flying Bikes You Can Actually Buy Now!
Automologist MAC’s dreams had already come true and he’s only just found out.
You may have realised by now that I am fixated on personal flying transportation the likes of which we have seen in countless sci-fi movies. Thus far, most of the vehicles that have promised so much have either been compromised car or plane technology and not really good at either. But with the advent of RC Drone technology, the industry has taken a side-step and is now really designing personalised drone vehicles capable of transporting a person from A to B, well, probably A back to A, in reality.
What I did not realise until today, though, is that there are already three existing flying bikes that you can purchase and ‘pilot’ this year. Right now, in fact. Okay, so these are not the flying cars that we thought we would get. They do not drive on the ground and thus are not really flying ‘cars’, but hey, super cool anyway.
Costing a cool USD98,000 now after a recent price increase, the Jetson ONE has already sold out its first two years of production capacity. The ONE is described as an eVTOL vehicle which is powered by a Tesla Battery pack. The craft has eight rotors and can lift up to 95kilos (oops, better go on a diet) and has been on sale since October 2021 and they have orders for over 3,000 on the books as we I type. Learning to fly the vehicle is said to be straightforward and no pilot’s license is required, but you will still need to go to ‘flight school’ at the company’s R&D centre in Arezzo, Tuscany, which is of course in Italy. Range is limited to about 20 minutes with a top speed of 100kph, so you are not going very far, about 33 kilometres to be precise.
Looking more like a conventional motorbike of sorts, the Xturismo is capable of lifting 100 kilos for about 40 minutes utilising a Hybrid design, and fly at about 100kph. So, in this one, you can go for about 66 kilometres. The price tag is a bit eye-watering though, coming in at over USD500,000. But hey, forget the price tag. These bikes were inspired by the Land-Speeder from the Star Wars film ‘Dark Side’. How cool would that be to ride down to the local 7-11 to pick up a pack of cigarettes? Unfortunately, to ride one you would need a sport’s pilot license.
Based out of Ohio in Americaland’s Midwest, the RYSE RECON has been taking bookings since January this year. The target market is apparently Farmers and Ranchers operating on large properties. The design is really a scaled up six-rotor drone which automatically maintains stability whilst the operator points and goes. Priced at USD150,000, it does not come cheap. The RECON will fly on an EV platform for about twenty minutes at about 100kph, so the range is about 40 kilometres. What is impressive is that the RECON can fly up to 220 metres above the ground and no pilot’s licence is required.
For now, with the price tags on the three that are available, I think I will be waiting awhile before I can afford one, but I am hoping that as more companies enter the market, there will be more affordable options available.
There are still some companies that are persevering with a more conventional shape, for instance, the Chinese TESLA competitor, Xpeng, has recently released their plans for a flying car. Seems to me though that the wheels are just dead weight.