Sure, it looks like something that would have gotten Luke Skywalker laughed out of Jedi High, but the Aero-X hoverbike announced in 2007 by Aerofex is one step closer to reality. The company announced it expects to deliver the first models in 2017 and is accepting $5000 deposits for pre-orders.
According to the company, the Aero-X is built with a light-weight carbon fiber frame and fan blades powered by three 240-horsepower three-rotor rotary engines. It’s designed to carry two people, hover at up to 10 feet above the ground, attain speeds of up to 45 mile-per-hour and operate for up to 75 minutes before refueling.
Aerofex likens the Aero-X to riding a motorcycle, with simple controls that are intuitive and an intelligent vehicle that responds to the movements of the pilot for steering and control. “Pilot” is a misnomer since the craft does not require a pilot’s license or flight training.
The “tandem duct” design of two fans in a line is supposed to help give the Aero-X more altitude and lift power. The duct around the fan focuses the wind for additional lift and the fans use a proprietary design that’s said to be less complex that helicopter rotors while providing greater stability.
While it can hover at up to ten feet, the company believes riders will be more comfortable at five. At that height, the craft can operate off-road and over hills, but it’s not recommended for mountainous terrain.
The expected list price for the Aero-X pre-tax is $85,000. Standard equipment includes a tachometer with indicator lights and a USB port for your GPS or music player. Options include airbags and flotation pontoons for water riding.
Will the Aero-X hoverbike be worth the wait? The prototype was unveiled in 2007, the first demonstration was in 2012 and the current videos still look experimental. Will it be revolutionary everyday transportation, an expensive toy or a disappointment like the jetpack? Time will tell.