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IPFS News Link • Transportation: Air Travel

This Bonkers Flying Motorbike Can Soar to 60 MPH in 3 Seconds


Two companies are vying to have the world's first flying motorbike, but they are taking very different approaches. The Razor Flying Motorbike was on Jetpack Aviation's to-do list for several years, but the California firm announced recently that it had put a pause on the program to concentrate on large, fast military drones.

At the same time, UDX has been developing its Airwolf. The Czech team is currently testing a scale prototype at Technology Readiness Level 5 of 9 which, in NASA parlance, means "component validation in the relevant environment." For the rest of us, that means the two-seat eVTOL still has years of development ahead, but the company is moving toward a full-scale, working prototype.

"Our mission is to make flight accessible to everybody," CEO and cofounder Jiri Madeja tells Robb Report, noting that interested customers can sign up for a test flight, though no dates have been announced yet.

The craft will have a carbon-fiber chassis design, fully electric powertrain, and four 3-D-printed Electric Ducted Fans (EDFs) from Italian component manufacturer VasyFan. The Airwolf looks very different than the Razor, which resembles a conventional motorcycle with small jet packs on all four corners. The Airwolf, by contrast, looks like a hybrid eVTOL with an exposed seat.

The two are also apples and oranges in terms of propulsion. The Razor uses eight jet engines for greater speed, redundancy, and a more compact footprint. The Airwolf, a zero-emissions tiltrotor eVTOL, is capable of taking off and landing vertically with precision flight controls and, a major bonus—enough space for a passenger behind the driver. It also has fixed wings for gliding in emergencies.

The EDFs also permit easier storage in a garage compared to other aircraft with conventional propellers that require more width to achieve equivalent thrust. Madeja says the airframe will be manufactured in-house by UDX, and the electric components will be produced by the Czech MGM Compro, while battery cells will likely be sourced from Tesla.

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