Ever since Luke climbed atop the Speeder Bike, Star Wars nerds everywhere have hoped and prayed that one day that someone would have the ingenuity and gumption to build such a toy. Well, that day has finally arrived!
While the flying bike has yet to be adorned with an official name, the company behind it is called Aerofex, and they’re based down the street from us in Manhattan Beach. So we’ll be doing our best to get down there and film some of our own footage, though we’re thinking there is a chance in hell that they’ll agree. But hey, it can’t hurt to try.
Unlike the version seen in “Return of the Jedi”, this bike uses a set of over sized fans to provide it with lift and presumably its forward momentum. According to Gizmodo, there is a special control schema that allows anyone, without any training, to climb on board and drive it. Top speed is currently a reported 30mph, and it can fly as high as 15-feet, though as you’ll see in the above video it remains relatively close to the ground.
As one can imagine, achieving stability was no easy feat. According to Aerofex founder Mark De Roche, he and his team used a new mechanical system that “captures the translations between the two in three axis (pitch, roll and yaw), and activates the aerodynamic controls required to counter the movement – which lines the vehicle back up with the pilot.” So much like a motorcycle, a pilot just needs to learn to balance on it naturally and lean left to right to control it.
That all said, you won’t be able to pick one of these up at a Best Buy any time soon. And rightfully so, as its utility is geared more to a military function, where it could be used for lifting heavy gear where over sized trucks aren’t viable.
Of note, the video never shows the bike floating freely (though you can see some on their site here – we just found one on Youtube which is posted above). However, at this point we have to assume it’s 100% legit. As mentioned, we’ll try and pay them a visit, but since the technology is so nascent there is a good chance they won’t allow outsiders to get behind their closed doors.
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