Cash-laden adventure junkies who missed out on this summer’s opportunity to pick up a “real live Iron Man suit” for a cool half-mill can take heart: For the low, low cost of a $10,000 deposit to a Russian startup submitted via PayPal (seems legit), the right to purchase the above $150,000 hover bike can be yours.
Developed by the company HoverSurf which also develops a Drone Taxi, this hover bike is optimized to fly at roughly 16 feet with a maximum speed of around 52 knots, or 60 miles per hour. It’s powered by a 12.3 kWh lithium manganese nickel hybrid battery that is capable of keeping the thing in the air for about 15-20 minutes while manned, or around 40 minutes while it’s in drone mode.
Deliveries will take between 2-6 months, according to the company’s website, and will begin in the United States in the order that the company receives deposits.
While some of the above might prompt you to raise an eyebrow, it appears that the hoverbike is indeed — and we’re thrilled to report we’re quoting directly here — “legit,” according to FAA evaluator Wilbert Robinson, who took a minute from his busy day to confirm the veracity of the FAA evaluation letter posted to the HoverSurf site. The letter, dated September 10, says the hoverbike has met some, but not all, of the operational requirements for individual manned use.
“It’s the first manned drone you can pre-order in the United States,” Hoversurf COO Joseph Segura-Conn told Discovery back in February. “There’s actually no limits with this device, you can set constraints… or you can free fly it as high as you’d like… All of our crafts and drones …will be able to land and take off in a parking spot.”
The Hover One has been through close to a half dozen prototypes since it’s been in development, according to a video the company posted to its Twitter page back in July, and have included some pretty wild looking design decisions from wooden propellers to an expanding red tarp.
Segura-Conn explained that their take on the hoverbike is really more of a very large drone you can ride, because most of its procedures are completely automated.
“90 percent of the work is being done by our on board flight system,” he explains in the video. “The flight system ensures you’re always level … you can control it without being on it.”
While it does seem like this hoverbike has in fact been developed, it’s a little unclear who the market for these highly specialized, very dangerous looking devices might actually be. According to the company’s mission statement, money from the hoverbikes will be used to help fund more ambitious projects related to personal flight. And for what it’s worth, there does seem to be at least some sort of market for wildly expensive action hero tech: Maybe the Iron Man suit buyer is looking to expand his collection.