If you grew up on comic books, Star Wars, and Knight Rider (the original, Hasselhoff-led gem, not the blasphemous 2008 reboot), there’s never been a better time to be alive. We’re living in a Golden Age of personal, high-powered toys. With the right disposal income, you can stock your garage with things like flying dune buggies, one-man flying cars, and Iron Man-style gravity jetpacks (and don’t forget personal flamethrowers). Now, if you’ve ever fantasized about zipping around the city on a hoverbike, San Jose-based HoverSurf is here to make those dreams a reality, too.
At first glance, a Hoverbike looks like an oversized drone with a seat. Indeed, the mechanics differ little from a traditional quadcopter. Four, twin-blade rotors are mounted at the corners, all powered by electric motors. These are capable of pushing the bike to a stunning — and quite literally death-defying — top speed of 60 miles per hour. Joystick controls allow for vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) capability from any standard parking spot. The company recommends a safe flying altitude of just 16 feet (5 meters) but is quick to point out that pilots can adjust this to their own comfort and skill levels.
Because the bike qualifies as an ultralight under Federal Aviation Administration rules, pilots technically don’t need a license. Although, we imagine anyone who’s not entirely insane would want a bit of training and experience under their belt before pushing their Hoverbike to its limits (unless you’re this guy).
HoverSurf claims state-of-the-art technology in every aspect of the Hoverbike. They scrapped the original aluminum construction, for example, and replaced it with a single-element carbon fiber build. This reduced weight by half, while also making way for a larger, more powerful battery setup. The latest version promises a range of 10 to 25 miles (depending on pilot weight and weather conditions) on a two-and-a-half-hour charge. It probably won’t get most of us to work and back. But, it’s plenty of juice to tool around your local park terrorizing the neighborhood soccer moms. Other features include electronic emergency landing capability and all-weather LiDAR in case you don’t enjoy flying blind.
A USD $10,000 deposit confirms your custom build, and delivery is expected in 2 to 6 months. On the plus side, you can brag to your friends that your HoverSurf Hoverbike is “limited edition.” Of course, with a $150,000 price tag, that sort of goes without saying.