A high-speed flying motorcycle was designed by a Japanese start-up and unveiled at an auto show.
According to a report by Euronews, the first flying bike in the world debuted on Thursday at the Detroit Auto Show.
Its name is the XTurismo hoverbike, and it has a 40-minute flight time and a top speed of 100 kph (62 miles an hour).
We have already featured this bad guy. It was revealed in January 2022 that the machine’s manufacturer, AERWINS Technologies, was already accepting deposits for the first machines to be sold commercially.
Taking the bike for a test drive
Now, however, Euronews revealed that people had actually tested the bike and had a lot of positive things to say about it.
One of the first to give it a try was Thad Szott, co-chair of the Motor City auto show, who declared: “I mean, it’s great! You naturally feel some trepidation, but I was simply so excited. I felt like little kid and genuinely got goosebumps.
Additionally, he stated that he believes the bike has immense potential: “I suppose we’ll start with delivering products & services, perhaps by drone. If you travel from airport to airport, it is prepared for today’s world. But I’m eager to find out when we may visit different neighbourhoods. So let’s resolve the issue.
A smaller version of the hovering bike should be offered in the US in 2023 for $777,000. On those who can’t wait, the vehicle is now for sale in Japan.
The company also plans to produce a smaller electric model by 2025 for just $50,000, which is a very decent deal for a vehicle that can actually fly, although briefly.
How is the bike operated? A 228-hp gas-powered Kawasaki motorbike performance engine provides thrust through 2 large centre rotors. For additional stability, four smaller electric support rotors are mounted on the vehicle’s edges.
Although the specifics of how the electric version would operate are now unknown, there must be some fascinating engineering involved.
The hoverbike’s light carbon fibre body, which is now just 660 pounds (299 kg) long, is around 12 feet long (3.65 m). The car also has an automatic control system that is intended to increase safety.
Will it be compatible as an electric model if it has these qualities? Time will only tell.
Limited use options
The XTurismo only has a few uses because of Japan’s tight rules on such equipment. It is currently only permitted to fly or hover above racetracks.
It may be for this reason that its manufacturer announced in January that it only intended to create 200 units, making it a specialty luxury good.
Additionally, the company did state at the time that it eventually wanted to mass-produce all-electric hoverbikes for urban use as well as for search and rescue & disaster response.
Will the XTurismo be widely used in Japan and elsewhere, or will it continue to be a fun but ultimately ineffective product for the few who can afford to buy it only to ride it on tracks?