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Back when we were young, the transportation of the future seemed to promise flying cars. Yet, decades later, we’re still waiting for them. But perhaps our upcoming transportation in a three-dimensional realm will come from a flying motorcycle.
Seen here is the SkyBike, a three-wheeled “motorcycle” that is planned to take flight in the coming years. The SkyBike is the brainchild of Samson Motorworks, aided in development by Swift Engineering in San Clemente, California, a company with extensive race-car fabrication and design experience. The SkyBike is scheduled to be available in kit form in about a year. An upcoming FAA-approved factory-built version called the SwitchBlade will debut soon after.
When on the ground, the SkyBike leans into corners like a motorcycle, despite the third wheel. The two-seater vehicle is powered by an unspecified motorcycle engine (between 120-180 hp) and a traditional driveline. The idea is to simply ride/drive the vehicle to an airport and unfurl the telescoping main wing. On the runway, the machine gets up to speed quickly by the driven wheels before engine power is diverted to the rear-mounted shrouded propeller for takeoff.
The odd bird is claimed to be able to fly at 130 mph, although it hasn’t actually taken to the air yet. A stall-resistant canard front wing adds lift and safety. Samson claims deliveries of the first SkyBikes will take place in about a year. For more info and pics, see Samson’s website.