Riding a bicycle is a great way to stay fit and healthy, while also helping the environment. For those who feel they need a little assistance on the ground, there are electric bicycles. And then, for those who want to soar above traffic, avoiding congestion, exhaust fumes, and bad drivers, there are flying bicycles. Here are a few examples of some of the latest (totally not dangerous-looking) flying bike prototypes.
- The Canadian AeroVelo team recently reported that their human-powered helicopter, Atlas, flew up to a height of 3.3 meters for about 65 seconds and stayed within a 10-square-meter area. That achievement has won them the $250,000 Igor I. Sikorsky Human-Powered Helicopter Prize from The American Helicopter Society.[url]
- ExploreAir is raising funds on Kickstarter for its Paravelo flying bike that looks like a mashup between a paraglider and a bicycle. It's powered by an electric motor that provides up to 3 hours of flight. Once in the air, the Paravelo can reach a speed of 25 mph and a height of 4,000 feet. [url]
- Three Czech companies recently conducted a test flight of their F-bike with a life-sized dummy in the bike seat. The flying bicycle has 6 horizontal rotors attached to the bike's frame, drawing 47 kW of power from on-board batteries. During the 5-minute flight test, the F-bike was able to lift off, hover, steer, and land (by remote control.) [url]
- German startup e-volo's first manned flight of its VC1 Volocopter in 2011 lasted 90 seconds. The VC1 has 16 individual rotors, and its battery pack has enough power for 20 minutes of flight. E-volo is currently developing the VC200, an electric two-seater that will have 18 rotors and a range extender to recharge the batteries. [url]
If you'd like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post