Ever since man began walking the earthâ€¦ he has concluded that this pedestrian form of transport is simply insufficient for his desires; which is why he has always yearned to fly. Over the years, he has used his ingenuity and inventiveness to design flying machines. It began with balloons and progressed to crude airplanes. Eventually, jet airliners and personal aircraft became commonplace, as were other types of assisted flight, like hang gliding and parasailing.
We bet you’ve dreamed about doing this at LEAST once.
Still, man has always yearned for a type of flying machine that he could store in his garage and launch right from his own property. Well, he may get his wish in the next few years with the emergence ofâ€¦ the hoverbike.
Introducing: The Aerofex Aero-X Hoverbike
That’s right. A “bike” that hovers and moves forward through air instead of on the ground. Cross your fingers, because it may be coming soon to a garage near you.
The extraordinary invention was created by Aerofex, a California firm that began testing a prototype about two years ago. It’s called the Aero-X, and it uses hovercraft-style ducted rotors to move through the air. Not surprisingly, Aerofex received a flood of emails from people who wanted to buy one of their very own Aero-Xes. So recently, company officials announced that they would begin accepting deposits of $5,000 from people who wanted to reserve their Aero-X to be delivered to them (hopefully) in 2017.
The total retail price? $85,000. Not bad for a personal flying machine, huh? You can get a glimpse of what it looks like here.
Aerofex engineers say the hoverbike is capable of forward speeds of almost 45 miles per hour and can hover up to about 12 feet off the ground. The height is important, because anything higher than that might subject owners of the Aero-X to a piloting license requirement. But after consulting with the Federal Aviation Administration, Aerofex officials say that placing a 12-foot “ceiling” on the hoverbike would avoid that issue.
Until the Aero-X, this was the closest thing to a hoverbike you could buy.
Â Truly a Masterpiece of Engineering
As you might imagine, the hoverbike wasn’t created overnight; Aerofex engineers had to solve a host of different problems in order to make the Aero-X functional, responsive, and safe. One of the most prominent is the coupling effect, which is found in helicopters that propels the aircraft leftward when the pilot pitches forward. Chopper pilots make the adjustments themselves, and hoverbike riders will be able to do the same with handlebar grips and leaning – much like motorcyclists do.
In addition, engineers wanted to account for sudden gusts of wind causing operation problems, so they turned to drone technology for help. Many of today’s quadcopter drones have smartphone chips which contain accelerometers and gyroscopes that can automatically adjust for wind. Aerofex engineers took this approach to design the hoverbike to compensate for wind gusts without the rider having to worry about it.
The Future of the Hoverbike
Aerofex officials have repeatedly said that they won’t sell hoverbikes commercially if they aren’t safe to ride for the average layman. And they stress that the Aero-X is not suited for urban settings, but instead should only be flown in wide open spaces. However, if their further testing stays on schedule, America could start seeing “hoverbikers” sometime in the next few years.
It remains to be seen how much auto insurance costs will be for these nifty flying machines. But if you want affordable auto insurance coverage for your current terrestrial vehicle, contact Auto Insurance Specialists today by visiting the AIS Web site or by calling (888) 772-4247.
Okay – if a flying machine looked like THAT, very few men would actually buy it.
Written by Chris Martin
The information in this article was obtained from various sources. This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements, nor is it intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. The definitions, terms and coverage in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.