All-electric Flying Bicycle: A Not-too-distant Dream
It may seem like a phrase from a sci-fi fiction, but while flying cars seem like a distant reality, flying bikes have made their first attempt successfully. The hover bike goes by the name ‘Flike’ and is the brainchild of researchers at Aeroflex.
Although the first manned flight by Flike was a success, the technology needs to be further tuned before a commercial launch. The current technology allows the bike to fly at a maximum speed of 30 mph. Also the maximum height the bike managed to reach was 15 feet, which would mean that it would need some major overhauling before soaring to the skies. The batteries also lasted a flight of about 40 minutes and hence more research needs to go into enhancing the life of the battery for a longer flight by the bike.
While the dream has been around ever since the first aircraft was invented, the technology powering Flike is still in its infancy. It currently relies on conventional lithium polymer batteries that allow the bike to hover around for 15 to 20 minutes, and about 40 minutes of cruise time. There are six carbon rotors that drive the individual motors on the bike to lift it from the ground to the flying mode. The layout of Flike is developed in a user friendly way wherein the entire control lies in the rotation of the rotors. While the features that this bike can attain are yet under testing, current features are comparable to those of a helicopter which include hover, roll, spin, turn and so on. An autonomous flight management system is installed in the bike, which allows stability and gaining altitude for the bike making the flight as easy as simply riding an actual cycle.
Although the development so far took about a year, there is still ambiguity on how long the finishing of the final product would take.
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