How many of you watched Star Wars: Return of the Jedi and wished you had a speeder bike like the ones Luke and Leia race through the forests of Endor? Well, you may not have to wait much longer. California-based tech company Aerofex has released a video of it new bike, which flies over the ground thanks to two large fans. Test flights so far have been limited to 30 mph, so while it might not be ready for a high-speed chase through the forest, it still looks pretty awesome!
Aerofex’s hover bike has been in development for several years, but it is only recently that the project has made several significant breakthroughs. The company has released several test-flight videos which show it fully functioning over a dry lake bed in a desert.
Keeping the hover bike above the ground are two large ducted fans. Rather like a fast motorcycle, the rider steers by leaning from side to the other. It was part of the project’s goals to create a natural-feeling riding experience. Previously, the company had problems with the vehicle’s stability, however that has now been fixed thanks to the inclusion of a control bar at the the users knee level. This allows the pilot to lean and balance the vehicle and keep it airborne.
While the vehicle doesn’t quite have the maneuverability of a Star Wars speeder bike, it is capable of a top speed of 30 mph and can reach a maximum height of 15 feet. Currently, the hover vehicle is being tested in California’s Mojave Desert, so hopefully it won’t be long before the rest of us get to ride on one of these cool gizmos!
via CNET News