Just a few days ago, we excitedly posted about the BMW Motorrad and LEGO real-life replica of the Hover Ride. However, our excitement was short-lived because, while it is real, it is completely non-functional, but the Scorpion 3 you see here is different. It is a real-deal, flying motorcycle worthy of the term hoverbike. Unfortunately, this is as far as we can refer this awesome new age personal transportation to cos’ officially, the name ‘hoverbike’ has been taken. Developed by a Russian startup, Hoversurf, the Scorpion 3 is a full-manned flying bike that’s essentially a marriage between a quadcopter and a bike seat. In other words, it is a quadcopter made to carry a person which is something Ehang has done, and we suspect, unless a groundbreaking propulsion system is found, we are going to see a lot of vehicles basing on vertical liftoff system like this.
We kind of like the idea, but at the same time, we are also intimidated by the open propellers. Hmmm, why do my legs feel cold when I think about it? Looking at Scorpion 3 setup, it looks like the props are pretty close to the rider which is an obvious risk. The developer could have put in some sort of protective barrier, but I guess weight in an aircraft of such nature is always a concern and hence, the lack of preemptive protection. Technical details are not offered, but what we do know that, Scorpion 3 is drawing close to being a reality and it will give you a damn good reason not to put on more weight because it is good for payload of up to 120 kilograms (265 pounds).
But of course, you can push the payload to the limit, but logically speaking, you’d get more mileage out of the battery pack if the vehicle has less mass weighing down on it. Granted, no range was given, but we read that it is good for 27 minutes of flight per charge. The only ‘performance figures’ offered by Hoversurf are 50 km/h (31 mph) top speed and 10 meters (32 feet) flight altitude. So, wait. Is this still considered a bike? Or is it an aircraft? Hmmm, it flies, so i guess it is an aircraft? Whatever it is, the concept is no doubt an exciting development, well, except for the menacing propellers in such close proximity to the rider.
As far as safety is concerned, Hoversurf assures that “the platform is equipped with a safety system powered by state of the art flight controllers, special logical programing, and computer-aided speed and altitude limiting.” Though, the company stop short of detailing those safety measures. And now, for the golden questions: when can you get one and how much will it cost? Well, about that, nothing is conclusive with regards to the availability (Hoversurf did hinted crowdfunding), but when it does become available, expect to drop around $150,000 for a unit. Ouch. That’s awfully expensive for a one-man ride, but then again, this isn’t a bike; it’s a personal air transportation.
Image: screengrab from YouTube video.