While it’s not quite a podracer or the hoverboard we have been patiently waiting for, the Aero-X hoverbike will let you soar 12 feet from the ground for only $85,000.
Aerofex, the California based company behind the hoverbike, first demonstrated their prototype back in 2012 (which you can see in the video below). While the original was essentially two large fans with a seat, the commercial product will feature a custom carbon-fiber-composite chassis.
Weighing in at 785 lbs., the commercial bike will be able to carry 617 pounds, and will allow two people to be seated on it at once. Powered by a three-cylinder gasoline engine, the bike will be able to hit speeds up to 45 mph, and be able to reach an altitude of 12 feet. The fuel tank will also allow for 85 minutes of continuous operation, and the vehicle is capable of vertical take-off and landing.
Aeroflex also claims that their Aero-X will be a “hovercraft that rides like a motorcycle.” While traditional open-rotor aircraft suffer from something called the “coupling effect,” Aeroflex says they have solved this issue, and have filed the relevant patents.
Open-rotor aircraft (like a helicopter) are traditionally difficult to pilot, as you can’t just point them in the direction you want to go.They take a great deal of skill to pilot, but if Aeroflex has indeed found a solution to the “coupling effect,” then they will truly have produced something that consumers can easily control. Additionally, their solution could make it into other products.As an added bonus, you wont require a pilot license. While talking to the FAA, Aeroflex discovered that if the hoverbike stays under an maximum altitude of 12 feet, it can be classified as an “aerial ATV” of sorts.
Aeroflex is currently taking pre-orders for the Aero-X, and you can expect it at your doorstep by 2017. All you need is $85,000 and a helmet.