It’s official: Aero-X, the hoverbike that sparked much attention when its maker, Aerofex, showed its working prototype in 2012, will be up for grabs in 2017, the Californian company said this week on its website.
Aero-X is a futuristic hovercraft that can fly more than three metres above the ground. Promoted as the “hovercraft that rides like a bicycle,” it can reach a maximum speed of 72mph. The machine can carry two people with a combined weight of 140 kilograms, providing them with an unforgettable riding experience without the need for roads for about one hour and 15 minutes on a full tank of petrol.
The company is expected to start flight tests with the machine by 2016 and to make the first deliveries to the market the following year. The hoverbike will have a price tag of $85,000, but it can be pre-ordered even today for a refundable deposit of $5,000.
Since the release of the Aero-X prototype, Aerofex has spent much time and effort on enhancing the hoverbike’s stability and coupling – a phenomenon whereby rotor vehicles may pitch in the direction of the spinning rotors because of the aerodynamics involved in them. Pilots learn how to avoid this effect, normally by adjusting several controls at once.
Removing the coupling effect was key to ensuring that people with motorcycle experience only would be able to get on the hoverbike and enjoy their ride, Aerofex chief technology officer Mark De Roche said.