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They've Made A Flying Bicycle? (With Video)

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A group of Czech engineers and designers have successfully test flown via radio control a proof of concept hybrid bicycle/multi-copter, the FBike, at an exhibition in Prague, Wednesday. The group says they hope to perform a manned flight at a future date. Early design specifications made available last year included lithium-polymer batteries powering six electric motors together capable of producing 50 kW of power. Thrust is delivered by two sets of counter-rotating blades mounted fore and aft, and two stabilizing rotors on the left and right side. The design includes most of the limitations a skeptic might anticipate, including limited flight times (currently estimated at three to five minutes), limited redundancy, and limited real-world usefulness as a bicycle due to its roughly 200 pound weight. ... All of which may be of little concern to the bike's designers.

In 2012, the design team said the project was just a marketing exercise and was not intended for production. Still, the team is optimistic about future long-term developments in technology that would improve on the vehicle's safety and performance. "Because the capacity of batteries doubles about every ten years," Milan Duchek, technical director of contributing company Duratec Bicycles, told the Telegraph.co.uk, "we can expect that in the future the capacity would be enough" for some practical application. After the public test flight, remote pilot Jan Spatny stated that the craft was not especially easy to control. In its present configuration, FBike's engineers estimate it could lift a pilot provided that pilot weighed in at less than about 165 pounds, and they may make an attempt at a limited manned flight later this year.

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