In the Czech Republic three companies have teamed up to make a prototype of an electric bicycle capable of flying.
Human history is filled with marvelous achievements. However the history of flight, in particular, is peppered with mishaps, failures and fatalities. In their efforts to understand the mechanics of flight, would-be inventors mostly tried to mimic the anatomy of birds.
As Juan Caramuel y Lobkovitz (1606-1682) said “God denied to men the faculty of flight so that they might lead a quiet and tranquil life, for if they knew how to fly they would always be in perpetual danger.” Some of the attempts at flight are mythical and legendary; others are true stories with real documentation. Some were simple designs destined for loud thuds; others were complicated contraptions meant for equally chaotic crashes.
Before todays innovations settled in and were taken for granted, their inventors struggled to get them off the ground. Early railway systems and gas-powered vehicles were bumpy, uncomfortable and inefficient. For centuries the abacus was the only tool available for making calculations. Attempts at flight, meanwhile, were the most dangerous, since the point was maintaining control of a body or machine in the middle of the air, high above the ground.
In the Czech Republic three companies have teamed up to make a prototype of an electric bicycle capable of flying. In its current configuration, the flying bike will be capable of flying with a rider whose maximum weight is 11 and a half stone. For now, the flying bike is still in development and is controlled remotely, but its designers hope that it will eventually be piloted by the rider. They also hope battery technology will advance to make the invention marketable. At present the bicycle is only capable of five minutes of flight before the batteries need to be recharged.
“Because the capacity of batteries doubles about every ten years, we can expect that in the future the capacity would be enough for the bike to used for sports, tourism or similar things,” said Milan Duchek, the technical director of Duratec Bicycles.
Designed using French 3D software with a frame resembling a small motorcycle, the flying machine has six propellers, two the front, another two at the back and one on each side, that allow it to fly.
These are powered by six engines, all, in turn, powered by electric batteries. The “pilot”, Jan Spatny said “It’s not as easy (to control) as a toy or RC (Remote Control) model. It’s quite a complicated thing, you have to take into account that it weighs 95 kilos. You have to take into account motionlessness and other things,” he said.