Flying bicycle goes for successful test flight

The dream of a flying bike just became reality as an electric propeller-powered bike goes for a short ride in the air.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
2 min read
Flying bicycle
A dummy rides the flying bicycle. Michal Cizek/AFP/Getty Images

Pigs may not be flying yet, but a bicycle just recently took to the air in a successful test flight. The flying electric bike is the creation of several Czech companies that have been developing a prototype. The proof-of-concept bicycle looks a bit like a regular bike crossed with a giant RC quadcopter.

The unusual vehicle demonstrated its chops with a flight that lasted a few minutes, carrying a dummy onboard. It was radio-controlled from the ground. The 220-pound bike got off the ground thanks to six battery-powered propellers. This is enough to spark dreams of peddling down the road and then suddenly taking off to fly over obstacles or impress strangers.

"Our main motivation in working on the project was neither profit nor commercial interest, but the fulfillment of our boyish dreams," Ales Kobylik, a manager with design and engineering company Technodat, told Ceske Noviny. Bicycle maker Duractec is also involved in the project.

A flying bicycle becomes still faces some obstacles on its way to becoming a practical mode of transportation. For starters, the whole contraption is quite large, which makes it challenging to pedal and too big to fit into the average bike lane. It was able to successfully lift a dummy rider, but it may need a lot more battery power to carry human riders for longer distances.

The developers believe a human-carrying version could be built by the end of the year. Let's just hope they have the good sense to make it look like a "Star Wars" speeder bike as much as possible.

Check out the video evidence of the flight. You just might want to turn down your speakers first, as all that propeller whirring gets pretty loud.

(Via Seattlepi.com)