Imagine being able to leave the office on your bike, ride out to an open area and take off into the sky — kind of like E.T. John Foden and Yannick Read of XploreAir are making that possible with their multifunctional bicycle invention, called the Paravelo, which you can use to ride, tow, fly and camp.
Wait, did we say fly? Yep, this baby can fly at speeds of 25 miles per hour for up to three hours at a time using a flexible wing that is unfurled before take-off, and an electric starter motor that fires up the biofuel-powered fan hitched to the back of a trailer attached to the bike.
XploreAir says that the Paravelo is the world's first flying bicycle — a conventional two-wheeled bike that transforms into an easy-to-operate aircraft requiring no license to fly and capable of altitudes of up to 4,000 feet. Other features include a GPS tracker that plots the bike's movements on the ground and in the air; strobe handlebars; and the ability to fold up and fit in your car.
While this bike would be great for easy maneuvering to and from work — as a regular two-wheeled bike, you can fold it up and bring it on the train or up the flight of stairs to your apartment — XploreAir aims to produce a rugged, adventure-ready aircraft available to the consumer.
Foden and Read coined the term "flamping" to describe the act of flying to your destination and then camping out under the stars. They are currently developing a lightweight tent designed specifically for the Paravelo. It will use the motor cage as a structural element to keep you and your kit dry until you take to the sky again. The tent design includes a separation panel between the sleeping space and the trailer/bike compartment.
So how much does it cost to own a flying bike? They say purchase and running costs are comparable with a small family car. Not bad when you take into consideration that you’ll be getting a great workout and saving a bunch of money on fuel during your commute to work and/or to your camping destination. Also … you get to friggin’ fly!
Foden and Read put their project on Kickstarter in order to raise enough money “to make practical and affordable personal flight a reality.”
Check out their video to see what it looks lilke in the air: