Skybike Under Development

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Among the latest ideas for roadable aircraft is Sam Bousfield’s Skybike, a three-wheeled two-seat motorcycle that will convert itself, with the simple pull of a lever, into an airplane. Beyond its slippery bullet-shaped design, the most eye-catching piece of engineering on the vehicle will be its patent-pending telescoping wing, which retracts the lifting surfaces into the fuselage aft of the cockpit. The stress-bearing fuselage will be made from carbon fiber and will house the derated 120-hp motorcycle engine (options being from Yamaha and Suzuki) neatly packed behind the cockpit.

Two ducts, positioned in front of the rear wheels, will feed the fan propelling the aerial configuration of the vehicle. A forward canard will provide flight control as well as limited use in road-going cornering. Tiperons will be used for flight control on the main wings. “We’d like to have a flying prototype by the summer of 2009,” claims Bousfield, who has contracted Swift Engineering, famed for their work on the Eclipse 400 as well as Indycar racecar designs, to assist with the development of the design. The Skybike is expected to be initially offered as a $50K kit and will be slipped into the aviation sector as an LSA.