Aircraft

Limited edition hoverbike takes flight, order books open

Limited edition hoverbike take...
Order books for the Xturismo Limited Edition hoverbike opened on October 26 following an unveiling ceremony and demo flight at a racetrack in Japan
Order books for the Xturismo Limited Edition hoverbike opened on October 26 following an unveiling ceremony and demo flight at a racetrack in Japan
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Order books for the Xturismo Limited Edition hoverbike opened on October 26 following an unveiling ceremony and demo flight at a racetrack in Japan
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Order books for the Xturismo Limited Edition hoverbike opened on October 26 following an unveiling ceremony and demo flight at a racetrack in Japan
The Xturismo Limited Edition hoverbike has a per-flight endurance of about 40 minutes, and a top speed of 100 km/h
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The Xturismo Limited Edition hoverbike has a per-flight endurance of about 40 minutes, and a top speed of 100 km/h
The rider straddles a motorcycle-like frame and sits atop caged props while flying short hops at up to 100 km/h
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The rider straddles a motorcycle-like frame and sits atop caged props while flying short hops at up to 100 km/h
ALI Technologies says that "one of the focuses of development of Xturismo was its aerodynamic design; its air resistance coefficient (Cd) reached below 0.4"
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ALI Technologies says that "one of the focuses of development of Xturismo was its aerodynamic design; its air resistance coefficient (Cd) reached below 0.4"
The Xturismo is runs a 170-kW internal combustion engine and four battery-powered 4.8-kW electric motors
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The Xturismo is runs a 170-kW internal combustion engine and four battery-powered 4.8-kW electric motors
The Xturismo can reportedly climb from ground to two meters in three seconds
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The Xturismo can reportedly climb from ground to two meters in three seconds
View gallery - 6 images

Last week, Japanese drone developer ALI Technologies briefly took to the skies above the Fuji Speedway racetrack for the launch of the slick-looking Xturismo Limited Edition hoverbike, which is now up for order with deliveries expected to follow in the first half of 2022.

In development since 2017, ALI Tech (which has Mitsubishi, Yanmar and Kyocera among its customers) started the pre-launch buildup back in June when a separate website for the hoverbike went live. The first video went up a month later, where the rider appears from behind rocky terrain to fly down the coast towards a lush green resort.

A static display was set up in the carpark at the Daikanyama Tsutaya store in Tokyo from October 9, to show the vehicle in the flesh ahead of an unveiling ceremony at the Fuji Speedway track on October 26.

Specifications listed on the official product website are somewhat vague, but the funky single-seater is powered by both a conventional engine and electric motors. The main chassis appears to be fashioned using carbon fiber and sits above huge caged props front and back, while each corner is also home to a smaller caged prop.

The rider straddles a motorcycle-like frame and sits atop caged props while flying short hops at up to 100 km/h
The rider straddles a motorcycle-like frame and sits atop caged props while flying short hops at up to 100 km/h

On the ground, the vehicle rests on two skids, and the rider steps up to straddle the body like a motorcycle. The hoverbike measures 3.7 x 2.4 x 1.5 m (12.1 x 7.8 x 4.9 ft) and tips the scales at 300 kg (~660 lb), it can support a rider weight up to 100 kg (220 lb), has a flight time of up to 40 minutes, and a reported top speed in the region of 100 km/h (62 mph).

For the demo flight video below, the Xturismo is seen taking off vertically before slowly moving forward a couple of meters above the tarmac. The rider then does a u-turn before coming to rest again. Nothing too thrilling, but it serves to demonstrate that the hoverbike works as advertised and offers a fairly stable flight in the right hands.

XTURISMO Limited Edition Episode ONE The Universe Awaken

We've seen a few hoverbike proposals before of course – from the likes of Malloy Aeronautics, Kalashnikov, Hoversurf and and even wacky inventor Colin Furze – but the ALI Tech flavor has to be one of the slickest consumer-ready models so far.

The Xturismo Limited Edition will have a production run of just 200, and is priced at 77.7 million yen (about US$680,000, though it's not clear at this stage whether the hoverbike will be available outside of Japan). Buyers will currently be limited to flying on the kind of track used for the demo flight, as regulations in Japan prohibit such vehicles from flying over public roads – though ALI Tech recently partnered with the Yamanashi Prefecture to move air mobility forward, so change is definitely in the air.

Product page: Xturismo Limited Edition

View gallery - 6 images
10 comments
10 comments
Chase
That video looks incredibly fake. The rider doesn't move at all after the little fist pump, and the movements of the craft are both too smooth in straight flight and too jerky in the u-turn. Look closely at around 0:39 and tell me again that this video is real.
MeToo
Another toy for millionaires, I'll stick to my Harley. Why didn't they let us see how loud it was?
guzmanchinky
Very cool, but I prefer the Jetson model, with a rollcage.
jsopr
"Maybe if we do a quick cut every time it wobbles no one will notice?"
melmark
Ya no. Fake looking video. Totally unconvincing. If you value your life run the other way
Greg Clausen
The crowd of photographers also seem to disappear??
paleochocolate
It's more of a jetski then
Aermaco
The fact it has shrouded props in ducts is a plus as those slice & dicers won't find anyone to process.
All the open prop drone riding vehicles that leave their killer blades unshrouded are simply dangerous prototypes never to see any real use until they add ducts to their propellers.
Towerman
""Very cool, but I prefer the Jetson model, with a rollcage."" Not needed, a rollcage just adds needles weight. The jetson can lose the rollcage.
guzmanchinky
Towerman, I get your point, but I'm not so sure. Even if it's a lightweight carbon fiber roll cage it can really help in certain lower speed crashes into trees or close to the ground upsets (which is a lot of what that kind of machine will be doing). I myself would feel a little bit safer strapped in with a little bit of protection. Basically the same as comparing a motorcycle to a Smart car, it's a tiny car, but it's still much safer...