For decades, fans of “Star Wars” have imagined zooming through the forests of Endor like Luke Skywalker in the “Return of the Jedi.”
Those dreams could come true in 2017 when the Aero-X hover bike from engineering company Aerofex hits the market. The Aero-X, which first debuted as a prototype in 2007, is expected to be able to fly up to 10 feet off the ground at 45 mph for a duration of 75 minutes, according to the company’s website.
To accomplish this feat, the two-passenger Aero-X will lean heavily on the strength and durability of light-weight carbon fibre frames and fan blades. Power for the hover bike will come from a three 240 horsepower three-rotor rotary engines.
According to Aerofex, the hover bike’s greatest innovation is its ability to let riders fly without the need for a pilot’s licence or even any flight training. The company compares the Aero-X’s intuitive control system with that of a motorcycle where the rider uses a combination of the bike’s steering apparatus and the lean of his or her body to maintain control.
“We’ve done a lot of work to learn how to remove [the complexity of helicopter controls],” Aerofex chief technology officer and founder Mark De Roche told Discovery News. “That’s the key for someone who only has motorcycle experience to abe able to get on it and feel comfortable right away.”
Aerofex intends for the Aero-X to be able to safely operate over flat land or terrain with undulating hills. The company does not recommend operation of the hover bike over mountainous terrain.
Since the hover bike falls somewhere between a terrestrial vehicle and a private aeroplane, it’s only fitting that its price tag does the same. Based on Aerofex’s website, interested buyers will have to shell out $US85,000, or about the price of a new Range Rover, for a truly unique off-roading experience.
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