California Company Aerofex Accepting Preorders For $85,000 Hoverbikes

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Where are my flying cars?!” is an oft-repeated question from despairing futurists, saddened by the fact that it’s 2014 and we’re still puttering around on mundane surface-bound vehicles that on the whole aren’t too different in basic form and function from cars in the 1940s. The bad news is that while Back to the Future II-style flying cars are still a long way off, a company named Aerofex out of California is more than happy to take your down payment on a flying motorcycle—well, sort of, anyway.

  Aerofex’s Aero-X is a “hoverbike”—a platform supported not by wheels but rather by a pair of large ducted fans. The company has had a prototype technology demonstrator operational since 2012, which can be seen in the video … “

 

 

What the finished Aero-X hoverbike will look like, hopefully

 

 

” According to ExtremeTech, Aerofex is targeting 2016 for the debut of its commercial prototype. Unlike the hastily assembled technology demonstrator, where the operator perches in a decidedly uncomfortable-looking position and appears to have only a modicum of control over the craft’s operation, the commercial version should feature a more enclosed seating position, along with a passenger seat. It’s expected to have a carbon fiber chassis and a dry weight of about 785 lbs (365 kg), with a carrying capacity of a bit over 300 lbs (about 140 kg).

  Currently, Aerofex is targeting a maximum speed for the finished vehicle of about 45 mph (72 km/h). You also wouldn’t need a pilot’s license to operate the craft, since Aerofex plans on limiting the Aero-X’s altitude to a max of about 12 feet (about 3.5 meters). This seems like a good thing—after watching the video of the tech demonstrator flying and the level of control demonstrated by the rider/driver/pilot, the idea of going much higher than a few feet off the ground seems utterly terrifying.”

 

Read more of this expensive but very cool ride at Ars Technica