F-Bike: First Flying Prototype Gets Off the Ground
The dream to fly a smaller vehicle able to land anywhere has been shared by many people over the decades. Now, this is closer to reality with the first test flight of the F-Bike being a complete success.
But what is the F-Bike? It is a noisy, yet light custom-built flying bike operated by remote control that has been officially dubbed as the first two-wheeled airborne vehicle. The project was developed by three Czech researchers’ companies with support from France’s Dassault Systemes, a world leader in the creation of 3D design software.
The research team from the companies Technodat, Evektor and Duratec tested the remarkably light vehicle in a remote controlled flight around a warehouse in Prague, during a press conference. Riding the prototype was a dummy.
The flying vehicle is equipped with six horizontal rotors, drawing power of about 47 kilowatts from several on-board batteries. The basic idea behind this prototype was to get a smaller flying vehicle able of up to 5 minute independent flight and carry no more than 180 pounds of weight for now. The limited time of flight for the F-bike is due to limits in today’s battery technology, according to the researchers. The vehicle weighs 209 pounds and looks like a heavier mountain bike.
The project was initiated in 2011 and it was originally meant to be an electric bike, but the team later on decided this was to be a more ambitious project. The researchers were admittedly inspired by the visionary works of Jules Verne and a less known Czech author named Jaroslav Foglar.
There is no profit motive yet behind this project, as the creators don’t intend to mass- produce and sell the prototype. The team is yet to set a date for a human passenger test flight. During the test press conference, the Czech researchers said the human flying test will likely happen towards the end of the summer.
[Image via dvice]