Lazareth teases transforming, flying motorcycle with jet turbines in its wheels
French custom builder Ludovic Lazareth is not a man that does things by halves. He has just released a fairly revealing teaser showing a 4-wheeled motorcycle, whose jet turbine-hubbed wheels fold up to turn the thing into a hoverbike.
While the prototype isn't shown very clearly in the video, from certain angles it bears a lot of resemblance to the extraordinary LM-847 - a previous Lazareth creation that stuck a 470-horsepower Maserati engine in a monster 4-wheeler chassis, where each wheel is attached to its own single-sided swingarm.
In the case of "La Moto Volante" (the Flying Motorcycle), each of those swingarms appears to have been modified so they fold outwards when the bike is sitting on a central stand, and the wheels are able to pivot so they sit out horizontally.
At the centre of each hub is a powerful jet turbine, exhaust facing downward, giving the bike a balanced thrust platform much like a 4-prop drone, but with much greater power thanks to those turbines.
The project has been developed in conjunction with Jetcat, the German company that makes the jet turbines used by "Jetman" Yves Rossi, as well as the NASA/Skunk Works X-56A experimental aircraft, among others. So the turbines are legit.
How Lazareth has managed to mount them in rotating wheel hubs, some of them driven and all of them including brake discs, is quite the engineering wonder. In fact, going back and looking at the LM-847 and seeing how the chain drives run down the outsides of the rear swingarms makes us wonder if this flying machine was what Lazareth had in mind all along. How much the whole thing weighs – and it looks like a lot – will determine how much of this thing is fantasy and how much is reality.
We don't know if Lazareth is genuinely intending to test fly this thing, or just present it as a work of art. It certainly seems to be capable of riding in motorcycle form. We'll find out more at the end of January when he does the full reveal. But this Frenchman's inventions have always captured our imagination, and this spectacular concept will be his most ambitious yet, if it's actually built to fly.
Check it out in a video below.
Source: Lazareth Auto-Moto
Please keep comments to less than 150 words. No abusive material or spam will be published.
The first issue is noise. Think about how the loud the sound of these four jet engines would be, and the reactions of your neighbours.
The second issue is property damage. Jet gasses are hot so there is the potential issue of melting pavement.
The third issue is safety. So what happens if one of the jet engines fail? Depending upon the height and speed flown, this could range from comical to deadly.
I can see this being done as a one off stunt but nothing else. There are simply too many issues that come from the three things I've listed. Property damage, noise pollution and insurance will stop this from ever becoming mainstream.
But give me a Zero FX and a small starfighter and I'll be much happier.