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California company creates flying motorcycles that can be driven without a pilot's license

The Speeder design team has revealed that the sci-fi skybike has recently been flight tested. It is expected to be on sale by 2023. RobbReport.

Фото: Depositphotos

Flying cars and flying people with jetpacks are on the way, so why not flying motorcycles?

Jetpack Aviation, which already makes vertical propellers for humans, has just announced the successful test flight of its jet-powered flying bike prototype. The California-based company plans to release two consumer versions for general users.

The Speeder is an engineering achievement that required Jetpack Aviation to write its own flight control program to control and adjust thrust. The highlight of the work, which took a year and a half, is an intuitive system that functions like a typical motorcycle and automatically stabilizes the car in flight. It can take off and land vertically from most surfaces, taking up about the same amount of space as a car, and can be programmed to fly autonomously.

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“We can have an ultra-light version that doesn’t require a pilot’s license for two years and an experimental category version for six months after that,” Jetpack Aviation CEO David Maiman said. “The ultra-light version will be limited to 96 km per hour (FAA regulations) and a flight time of 15 minutes. To fly the experimental version, you will need a basic pilot's license. The speed of this version will be about 400 km per hour, and the flight time will be about 35 minutes,” he said.

Although the original design called for four turbines, the final product will have eight, two in each corner of the bike to provide safety through redundancy. They will also offer impressive power, allowing the 136kg bike to carry 270kg, a size-to-payload ratio that sets the Speeder apart from other similar designs. The air cycle also has manual controls, a 12-inch navigation screen and a radio system.

An updated version of the Speeder 2.0 prototype will undergo more intensive testing this summer and fall until design is complete. Testing is expected to begin in early 2022. For all of its operations, including future testing, Jetpack has entered into a deal with Prometheus Fuels, Inc. to use the company's 100 percent zero-carbon fuel.

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In the future, there will also be commercial versions for the military and public safety organizations, which will have removable wings to increase the range, compartments to carry fire retardants, medical personnel and equipment, or injured passengers.

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