Spread your wings: Electric flying bicycle will let you soar above the traffic

Imagine waking up in the morning, getting on your bike for the ride to work and when you hit traffic, extending the wings attached to it to fly over the congestion.

That’s the vision of one group of inventors who are making an electric powered ultra-light aircraft that has been built upon a lightweight tricycle frame.

The bike will create a personal and portable aircraft that in theory should be easy to fly.

The best part of the so-called Fly-B is that it will, for a limited time, only cost $12,000 dollars – which is much cheaper than many cars and avoids the hassle of traffic jams and paying for petrol.

The creators say the Fly-B is a: “Radical solution to the commuter blues or for any free spirit wishing to take the high road.”

It has been created by two flying ‘free-thinkers’ and who claim it is the world’s first electric flying bicycle.

As well as the physical cycling power, an electric propulsion system is also included for those who feel like putting their feet up and resting.

No pilots licence will apparently be needed as the device is said to fall under US regulations for ultra-light aircraft.

The creators say the designs involved weeks of engineering and when not in use the bike-come-aircraft can be folded up and put in the corner of a garage.

The creators have now put the vehicle out to a crowd funding campaign which they believe is the best way to raise manufacturing funds.

They say: “The Fly-B is an ideal Indiegogo project: not suited to large corporate mass market appeal, but able to tap an energetic niche market of adventure-oriented free spirits already involved (or wanting to be) in the recumbent bicycle movement and ultralight aircraft.”

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We can’t see the project taking off but there’s no reason not to dream big when it comes to flying personal transport: every slightly crazy, but successful idea has to start somewhere.

That said, the funding target set on the bike’s crowdfunding target is set at $28,000 – which is much lower than many aim to achieve, such as a recent flying car that was looking for €2.25m.

The money is to be used to finance the tooling and production equipment for the initial production runs.

Al money that is raised will go to the project, even if it does not hit its modest target.

End to Refuelling? Electric Road Set to Recharge Vehicles as They Drive

Volvo, a Swedish vehicle manufacturer, plans to test an electric road that recharges vehicles’ batteries as they drive over it.

The road, which will initially be used to recharge buses, would use inductive charging technology to wirelessly charge vehicles as they drove over it, eliminating the need for downtime while a vehicle is plugged in.

The company plans to build a test road measuring between 300m and 500m in Gothenburg, Sweden, next year. It will be used to recharge a number of the city’s buses as they follow their normal route.

Power for the road will come from Gothenburg’s electricity grid, although it is quite possible that local electricity sources, such as solar panels or wind turbines, could be used if the technology was transferred to other, more remote areas.

electric-road

Inductive charging has previously been proposed as a solution to recharging electric vehicles as they drive, but this is the first time the technology will be put into practice.

The technology will require the buses to be fitted with a special charging system so that they can continuously charge as they drive, a move that will also be necessary for any electric cars that want to use the innovation, should it be rolled out after the trial.

Electric roads are one of many solutions that Volvo is looking at to further transport technology.

“We are working on both a broad and a deep basis to develop the technology of tomorrow,” explained Niklas Gustavsson, Volvo Group executive vice president of corporate sustainability and public affairs. “Electric roads are another important part of the puzzle in our aim of achieving transport solutions that will minimise the impact on the environment.”

electric-road-bus

Road-based technology is on the increase, with a number of innovations announced in the past few years.

Solar Roadways, the technology that turns roads and car parks into giant solar panels to power nearby buildings or recharge stationary vehicles, was reported on by Factor back in March and has since generated considerable interest. The company is currently crowdfunding via Indiegogo with the hope of raising $1m.

There have also been a number of proposals relating to the automation of vehicles and roadside equipment, such as talking traffic lights, which are set to be trialled in Japan to reduce road rage.

Of course not all of these technologies can exist together. At present there is no way to combine inductive charging and solar roads, although the potential of such a combination is quite exciting.

No matter what technology prevails, however, one thing seems clear: the days of simple tarmac roads are definitely numbered.


Body images courtesy of Volvo Group.