Gliding across the desert, it looks like something straight off of a Star Wars movie set. The Californian Aerofex hoverbike is here and it is set to launch in 2017. This hoverbike, known as Aero-X, is a two-person motorbike with carbon fiber rotors instead of wheels. These rotors can lift the bike 10 feet into the air and tops speeds of 45 mph. With an hour and a half of hovertime, however, this bike isn’t going on any long road trips, but it could get you a quick run down to the local grocery store.
While the Aero-X prototype first debuted in 2007, it will actually begin flight tests in 2016 and will include an all-carbon-fiber–composite chassis. Unlike previous hover vehicles, this Aero-X rides like a motorcycle, making it easier to control and fun to use for just about anyone.
There are endless possibilities for owners of a hoverbike. You can cruise over deserts, hills, and valleys with ease, and there will even be an optional “flotation pontoons” for hovering over lakes and rivers. If you keep it below 12 feet, then there will not even be the need for a pilot license, making it a really cool sports and recreational vehicle.
In addition to sports enthusiasts, the police and military may also enjoy this new technology in the field of duty. The hoverbike is available for pre-order; however, its $85,000 sticker price may limit its demand.
This isn’t the first time someone has tried to build a hovercraft. In 1958, Ford engineers built the Glideair, which was a three foot model of a vehicle that floated on thin air. In 1961, the Aeromobile 35B was invented by William Bertelsen and people thought it would revolutionize the transportation industry. Yet until now, the hovercraft idea was usually only found in science fiction movies and television programs.
While the hoverbike isn’t going to take the place of modern day motorcycles, it may, down the road, appeal to the motorcycle-loving crowd since its design is similar. Its sleek and futuristic design should also make it appealing to everyone who’s ever seen the Jetsons, Star Wars, or Back to the Future and thought “Man the future’s going to be cool”. Well get ready America—cause the future is here. And YES—it is going to be cool!