Tech
U.S. gets first look at world’s first “flying bike” during Detroit Auto Show
It has two things that other prototypes just don't have. Speed and duration.
Elijah Chan
09.30.22

What did you imagine the future of transportation would look like?

Was it up in the air?

As early as the 1800s, mankind has always visualized a future lived on the clouds.

Flying suits for firemen, personal airplanes for people to drive, or flying scooters for a leisurely trip to the park.

YouTube Screenshot - Business Today
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YouTube Screenshot - Business Today

While all of these were expected by the 2000s, these first dreamers of the future would be disappointed. Or will they really?

A peculiar vehicle made its debut at the Detroit Auto Show in early September.

The vehicle resembles an ordinary motorbike you’d see on the freeway – a sleek design with an aerodynamic shape.

But what stirred interest in the vehicle is what it doesn’t have, which was a pair of wheels.

And it flies.

YouTube Screenshot - Business Today
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YouTube Screenshot - Business Today

Instead, it had a landing gear akin to a helicopter and it has six propellers parallel to the ground. Two rotors were in front of the bike and the other two on the back.

It’s beautiful.

YouTube Screenshot - Business Today
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YouTube Screenshot - Business Today

These two sets of rotors support the two big ones that push the bike off the ground. It was what the people in the 1800s dreamed of.

A world first?

In principle, this might be the world’s first flying bike.

In the video, you can see the bike hovering at a height of around five feet. The placement of the rotors allows the bike to stabilize midair and stop it from tipping or dipping on one side.

YouTube Screenshot - Business Today
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YouTube Screenshot - Business Today

AERWINS Technologies is the company behind this vehicle, the XTURISMO. Even with its “earthly” design, it still looks like something out of a science fiction movie.

There’s a reason for that too.

Shuhei Komatsu, founder and CEO of AERWINS , loved Star Wars movies.

In the movie, especially in the first installment of the prequel series, Anakin Skywalker pilots a rudimentary land speeder to compete in a race.

YouTube Screenshot - Business Today
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YouTube Screenshot - Business Today

XTURISMO isn’t as fast as its counterparts in Hollywood, but it proudly shows that the technology could work.

And it’s achievable.

“I wanted to make something from the movie real,” Komatsu was quoted saying. “It’s a land speeder for the Dark Side.”

Creating something that flies isn’t new to AERWINS. The Delware-based company is an air-mobility company that makes drones and other unmanned vehicles.

The company is also set to make its first public stock offering on the NASDAQ exchange this coming fall. We can only hope that the bike can reel investors in.

It’s already on the market.

XTURISMO is already being sold in Japan but the company plans on bringing this vision of the future to the United States come 2023.

The estimated price for this baby?

A whopping $777,000. The company, however, shared much more ambitious plans in creating a smaller and more efficient version of the craft by 2025.

The smaller version is planned to be run by electricity and would cost about $50,000. Is the dream of a flying future that close?

It might be much more complicated than it sounds.

YouTube Screenshot - Business Today
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - Business Today

We haven’t unlocked the technology to make more efficient engines for flying vehicles that can take them higher and faster. Regulations also vary from one country to another.

In Japan, for instance, XTURISMO is not considered an aircraft which means you won’t need a pilot’s license. The same can’t be said for other countries.

However, even with a 40-minute flight time, the XTURISMO is more than enough to inspire engineers about the possibility of flying through your neighborhood.

Watch the debut of the world’s first flying bike in the video below!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

By Elijah Chan
hi@sbly.com
Elijah Chan is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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