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The Hoverbike is finally here!
We always seem to be on the cusp of personal vehicles that hover, float and fly, when all of a sudden development deadlines get cruelly pushed back another decade or two. But currently the web is awash with reports telling us that Back To The Future-style travel is going to hit us within a decade. The following vehicles are all being developed and tweaked, and deposits are being taken from those who want a place in the queue. These machines are all large, noisy and, for most of us, very expensive, but it seems that finally they will be ours. Oh yes, they will be ours…
Flying up to 10 feet off the ground at 45mph, the Aero-X is effectively a hovercraft that rides like a motorcycle. It’s designed to be used by anyone, from thrill seekers to those wanting to adapt the Aero-X for search and rescue, border patrol, disaster relief or agricultural use. It seats two people and flies at just under the 3.7m benchmark that requires a pilot’s license in the US. You’ll reach 44mph and it runs for 75 minutes on a full tank of ordinary gas. It’s expected to cost $85,000 and will go on sale in 2017. Or if you want a hoverboard – one that will only work on water – check out the awesome sport of kitefoiling.
It doesn’t look quite like a plutonium-powered DeLorean, but according to reports from NBC News, Massachusetts-based Terrafugia is aiming to release the first flying car, with a development process likely to take eight to 12 years. The $280,000 TF-X is 19 feet long and designed to fit in a garage, once the wings are folded. However, as Terrafugia’s CEO says, it shouldn’t be thought of as a car that flies but more of a “plane that drives”. The four-seat hybrid vehicle has a total of 1,500 horsepower, provided by two electric motors and a back-up gasoline engine. The military is also said to be working on combat versions of airborne cars.
The Martin Jetpack is able to fly for 30 minutes at altitudes above 800 feet. First conceived in 1981 in New Zealand, it was named as one of Time magazine’s Top 50 inventions for 2010. The personal version is still being tweaked, but is expected to be available by 2016, with deposits set at $5,000 and total cost being under $150,000. A man also recently flew around the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington D.C. on a jet pack made by Jet Pack International, but only for 25 seconds. We’ve also already reported on Google’s plans to build a jet pack that “wasn’t a death trap”, which the company scrapped due to power efficiency issues. So for now… we continue to wait.