Flying Bike: Czech Engineers Show Off Amazing Bicycle [VIDEO]
Engineers in the Czech Republic have successfully tested a flying bike. The bicycle, called F-bike, was able to take off, hover and land during the five-minute demonstration at the PVA Expo Center in Prague.
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The 220-pound flying bike, a proof-of-concept prototype, is currently operated by a radio controller on the ground. It achieves flight through the use of six horizontally-mounted propellers, which look like big fans pointed downward.
During the demonstration, instead of a human in the bike seat, the engineers played it safe and used a dummy.
"Now the project is in the stage where the bicycle is controlled with the help of a transmitter. But we want to continue until a human being is capable of sitting on it," said Milan Duchek, one of the engineers and designers of the F-bike.
Ales Kobylik, the CEO of Technodat, one of the companies that helped build the bike, says that he anticipates more unmanned tests in F-bike's future. In early July, the team will plan when they can do tests using a human rider. The flying bike would need to be more robust in order to carry the weight of a human rider, and not just a dummy.
This isn't the first time someone's attempted to make a flying bike. In 2009, an English IT teacher named John Carver created the "Flyke" -- a tricycle, actually, not a bicycle -- and flew it across the UK for charity. The Flyke was powered by a twin propeller motor. It featured a paraglider and a parachute to keep it aloft. (You can see video of the Flyke in flight here.)
So will the Czech flying bikes be on the market any time soon?
According to Ales, the purpose of F-Bike isn't commercial production.
"The objective of the F-Bike project was the flying bike study and not flying bike production," Kobylik said, disappointing people everywhere.
Engineers say they the inspiration for the flying bike came from the novels of Jules Verne and Jaroslav Foglar.
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