3 Real Flying Motorcycles That Actually Exist

The vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) market is heating up. To expedite the arrival of urban air travel, companies are racing to develop the safest, most efficient technologies possible. Cars and personal aircraft are the most common VTOL vehicles, but flying motorcycles are gaining ground.

Because of the lack of protective barriers, flying motorcycles are highly technical and expensive technology that requires the perfect connection between human and machine. But, despite the difficulties, a couple of startups have made this possible.

Here are three flying motorcycles you can that exist in the real world today.

P2 Speeder

Few companies have successfully been able to develop flying motorcycles or will even take on such a monumental task. Mayman Aerospace, a Jetpack aviation startup, has done just that with its own flying motorcycle called the micro-VTOL P2 Speeder.

Over the past decade, Jetpack Aviation has been at the forefront of micro-personal vertical takeoff and landing aircraft. A new standard is being set for flying motorcycle technology with the Speeder’s wide range of applications.

How Does It Work?

Instead of using batteries, electric motors, and propellors like other flying motorcycle concepts, it has eight jet turbine engines. All the engines use zero net carbon aviation fuel. The Speeder has a light carbon fiber body and is the size of a standard naked street bike. It offers superior ergonomics for the pilot for maximum aerodynamics.

Its modular design also allows for autonomous and remote flight. Imagine being able to receive jet-powered drone deliveries in remote areas, similar to the UK’s drone postal delivery service.

The vehicle produces 700 pounds of thrust and can lift 992 pounds. It has a 400-mile range and a maximum speed of 500 miles per hour, making it purposeful as a remote cargo carrier. It also has an industrial version with 1,200 pounds of thrust.

In order to accomplish this, the Speeder has four turbine engines. The pitch angles of the engines are controlled via an electronic onboard flight control system. When the system detects unbalanced thrust angles, it automatically compensates.

Intended Purpose

The P2 Speeder is purposed for search and rescue, law enforcement, and military use. According to MilitaryLeak, two versions will be available, one recreational spec and one specifically for military and industrial use.

Mayman Aerospace pledges to push the boundaries of VTOL innovation. Technologies such as hydrogen-powered turbine engines, electric fan jets, turbofan propulsion, and autonomous avoidance systems can be expected in the future. The recreational version is estimated to cost $380,000, with commercial availability planned for 2023.

Xturismo Limited Edition

When it comes to game-changing technology, Japan has always been a trailblazer. It’s no different in the flying motorcycle market. Students from the University of Tokyo established A.L.I. Technologies in September 2016. The group of entrepreneurs’ background was the development of drones. Using their knowledge about how drones fly, they wanted to add to their common uses.

A.L.I. Technologies, partnered with Japanese professional football player Keisuke Honda, Mitsubishi Electric, and Kyocera, unveiled its Xturismo flying motorcycle. Its goal is to make urban air travel a reality. Katano Daisuke, president of A.L.I. Technologies said:

“It’s a rare company that tackles both air infrastructure and air mobility. I think there’s only one other company like ours, and it’s in Israel. Our company is working to achieve an air mobility society in which traffic accidents never happen.”

How Does It Work?

The Xturismo Limited Edition weighs 661 pounds and is powered by a hybrid-electric combustion engine. The carbon fiber body houses six electric motors commanding six propellors. The bike is 12 ft. long and eight ft. wide, making it a sturdy, large VTOL with a maximum payload of 220 pounds. During flight, you can cruise up to 62 mph for 30 to 40 minutes. Also, landing the Xturismo is easy with its fixed helicopter-style landing skids.

A.L.I. Technologies equipped the Xturismo with loads of safety features, mainly in the form of redundancy. In order to provide fail-safe redundancy, a distributed electric propulsion system (DEP) is used. For example, if a propeller fails, the remaining will be able to land the bike safely.

Intended Purpose

Unlike the P2 Speeder, the Xturismo LE is mainly geared towards personal use versus being used remotely. A.L.I. Technologies foresee a future when government regulations allow flying motorcycles to take to the skies, adding another mode of transportation in populated urban areas. A.L.I’s Xturismo LE can be yours on pre-order for roughly $680,000.

Lazareth LMV 496

Lazareth’s LMV 496 has to be the most extreme-looking motorcycle, flying or otherwise. This unique flying motorcycle was created by French mechanical engineer Ludovic Lazareth, who started his own company to bring his radical ideas to life.

In 2016, Lazareth introduced the incredible LM 847. It was a tilting four-wheeled superbike with a Maserati engine. Yes, you read that right! Besides its artistic design, it has a monstrous 470 horsepower engine that produces 457 pounds of torque. Lazareth is at it again with the LMV 496 flying motorcycle.

How Does the LMV 496 Work?

One of the interesting aspects of the LMV 496 is that it’s actually a motorcycle that can fly. Unlike the previously mentioned bikes that can only fly, the LMV 496 can be ridden on the road without restrictions, according to designer Ludovic Lazareth.

While on the road, the 308-pound LMV 496 uses its electric motor with a range of around 60 miles. In flight mode, the two wheels dynamically separate and face downward, turning into four wheel-hub jet turbine engines. Two additional turbines on either side of the motorcycle are used for added thrust. These turbines create 1,300 horsepower and produce 2,800 Nm of thrust for 10 minutes of flight time.

As the bike transitions to become airborne, the electric motor stops as propulsion takes over. Transforming the bike to flight mode takes only 60 seconds, and an electronic digital display provides information such as velocity, elevation, and location.

The bike is controlled in the air by two joysticks on the handlebars. Quick-deploy parachutes are also equipped for any emergency during flight.

Intended Purpose

The LMV 496 is for recreational use, offering a unique riding and flying experience at a premium price of $560,000. It has a comfortable seat and can accommodate any rider, says Lazareth. However, it can only achieve an altitude of just over 3 feet at present.

The Continuous Evolution of Personal Travel

Vehicle technology is advancing quickly. It wasn’t that long ago that electric cars were uncommon on the road. Now solar vehicles are on the way. There is a big possibility that personal VTOL air travel will be the next step. It’s only a matter of time before government regulations allow personal VTOL vehicles to operate in urban areas.

In the meantime, more startups may enter the flying motorcycle market to develop the safest and most cost-effective options for public use. Perhaps flying around like the Jetsons isn’t so far off in the future after all.

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