Fly your own hoverbike: no training needed

Skip flying cars altogether and jump on one of HoverSurf’s electric hoverbikes.

By Mary Grady 10/10/2018

If you’re a fan of two wheels on terra firma, a flying car might not scratch your particular itch. But don’t worry; your perfect personal flier is now is ready. HoverSurf, a start-up tech company based in San Jose, California, has designed a flying machine called the Hoverbike that looks like the love child of a drone and an ATV—and they are taking deposits now. For US$10,000 down, the company estimates delivery within six months. The full cost? US$150,000.

The company is able to move so quickly because it has bypassed the notoriously convoluted and difficult aircraft certification process required by the USA’s Federal Aviation Administration. They’ve done it by meeting the parameters to qualify as an Ultralight (which the Opener BlackFly also hopes to fall under), under an FAA rule established in 1982. The Ultralight rule, known as Part 103, decrees that a small aircraft that can carry only one person, is intended only for recreation, weighs less than 115kg, and flies no faster than 101 kph, doesn’t have to be inspected and approved by the FAA. HoverSurf designed its bike to meet those parameters, the FAA has verified that it does indeed do so, and the company is now taking orders. No pilot’s certificate or medical exam is needed.

HoverSurf says its electric-powered Ultralight will fly at more than 40 mph, and has a range of up to 20 kilometres. A carbon-fiber frame supports four propellers. The pilot is assisted by a flight computer that helps provide stability during takeoff and landing. Two leather-covered joysticks control the aircraft. Flights can last up to 25 minutes—then it takes about two and a half hours to recharge the batteries.

Although pilots don’t need to be certified, the FAA does set some strict parameters on when, where, and how ultralights can be flown. For example, Part 103 decrees no flying may occur above or near airports, above crowds, when visibility is poor, or above any congested area of a city. The basic idea is that ultralight pilots should avoid situations in which they might hurt anyone other than themselves. So if you’re thinking this would be a great way to commute from your condo to Starbucks and then to work downtown, the Hoverbike might not be the right fit for you—but if it’s your dream to fly above a deserted beach on your weekend off and those spinning props in close proximity to body parts don’t worry you, you have a new option.

ADVERTISE WITH US

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Stay Connected

You may also like.

Embraer Is Testing Self-Flying eVTOLs Over Rio de Janeiro

The tech will lead to air taxis flying themselves as part of urban transport.

By Michael Verdon

12/05/2022

The First Electric Aeroplane That You Can Fast-Charge Is Coming

Diamond Aircraft’s eDA40 can be recharged in about 20 minutes.

By J. George Gorant

06/05/2022

The First Flying-Car Airport Opens In The UK

But you can’t take off just yet.

By Tori Latham

05/05/2022

Furniture Maker RH Has Designed Sleek Private Jets And A Yacht You Can Charter

The upscale home-furnishings company is bringing a trained design eye to both often-overlooked interiors.

By Helena Madden

02/05/2022

Inside The First All-Private Space Mission To The International Space Station

The Ax-1 crew is scheduled to splash down after conducting scientific research aboard the International Space Station for nearly two weeks.

By Michael Verdon

28/04/2022

Buy the Magazine

Subscribe to Robb Report today!

Subscribe today

Stay Connected