World’s first ‘flying bike’ hits market for $500K: ‘Bringing science fiction to life’
A new mode of transport being hyped as the ''worl's first flying bike'' has officially been released in Japan — with a nearly $555,000 online price tag, according to the company’s site.
The 12-feet-long XTURISMO '' luxury air cruiser, which was by the “Star Wars” universe — was developed by the aircraft company AERWINS.
The 661-pound vehicle, a finalist in the 2023 Edison Awards, is designed to draw power from two large central rotors running on a 228-horsepower, gas-fueled Kawasaki motor.
Additional oomph comes from an electrical battery that powers four fans on the vehicle’s outer edges that provide stability to the ride.
The bike — hyped as “a manifestation of the dream of air mobility” — can reportedly hit speeds ranging from 50 to 62 miles per hour.
“Brining science fiction to life: Imagine a world where humans have free reign over the skies. Surely, life would be more free,” reads the official description. “Expand your ideas about transport, experience the world like never before Pioneer the next generation of transport. XTURISMO was created with this in mind. A new journey begins.”
The bike bears a resemblance to the speeder bikes used by the Galactic Empire to chase Luke skywalker (Mark Hamill) and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) through the forests on the planet of Endor in the franchise’s sixth installment, 1983’s '' Return of the Jedi.''
In June 2022, AERWINS announced the global launch of XTURISMO Limited Edition at December’s Top Marques Monacco conference, and its performance at America’s Detroit Auto Show in September was also well received worldwide, according to brand reps who said they are “currently receiving orders and inquiries from all over the world.”
Alas, “Star Wars” fans and others who are itching to take part in their own chase will be heartbroken to hear that flying bikes are currently only available in Japan — and is limited to test rides over a closed race track.
However, the air cruiser — hailed as one of the ''19 most mind-blowing science stories of 2022'' by BBC Science — could eventually be used to assist in rescue operations, disaster relief and inspections of infrastructure, according to its creators.
A video touting XTURISMO Limited Edition features the vehicle hovering above the waters of Lake Yamanaka with Japan’s iconic Japanese Mt. Fuji in the background.
“In publishing this video, it is our hope that viewers will be moved by the natural beauty of Yamanashi,” the brand’s reps said in a statement, “and feel the anticipation and excitement of the future mobility which can be achieved through our technological capabilities.”