You don’t really need to be a true “Star Wars” or Sci-Fi die hard fan to know something about the bikes used by Luke Skywalker and Imperial troopers in the “Return of the Jedi”.
That’s one kind of wacky idea that looked incredibly simple – you just take a regular bike, make it look more futuristic and then… make it fly, well, the actual true term is hover, as the bikes were never going above the tree line limits, for example.
Well, as we’re quite living the technology century, in 2017 a bike taking the idea to life could be on our doorsteps, called the Aero-X hover bike and manufactured by engineering company Aerofex. The Aero-X has been long in the making, with a prototype as early as 2007, but it’s only now expected to make the jump to commercial availability, displaying its capabilities of reaching 10 feet (3 meters) in the air, at a speed of 45 mph (72 km/h) and for as long as 75 minutes.
“We’ve done a lot of work to learn how to remove the complexity of helicopter controls,” Aerofex chief technology officer and founder Mark De Roche told Discovery News. “That’s the key for someone who only has motorcycle experience to be able to get on it and feel comfortable right away.”
The company uses controls that mimic the motorcycle ones, letting the driver maintain control with steering controls and movements of the body, while the ability to fly is achieved through a combination of the lightweight carbon fiber frame and big fan blades. Power comes from the ensemble of three 240 horsepower three-rotor rotary engines.