That’s the lead from one news report about a big debut at a U.S. auto show in Detroit: a gasoline-and-electric powered hoverbike (using a Kawasaki motor) created by Japanese manufacturing company AERWINS Technologies. They’ve already started selling them in Japan, and they’re now also hoping to sell a smaller version in America in 2023. The hoverbike flies for 40 minutes, Reuters reports, and can reach speeds of up to 62 miles per hour (100 kph). (They added that the bike drew “perhaps inevitable comparisons to the speeder bikes of Star Wars.”)
From McClatchy news services:
Video from WXYZ’s Facebook shows the hoverbike’s flight. The test rider checks the vehicle then signals with a fist pump. The engines power up, whirring louder and louder until the bike lifts off. The hoverbike flies back and forth, slightly faster as the ride goes on, then lands smoothly to the ground, video shows. “I feel like I’m literally 15 years old and I just got out of Star Wars,” the test rider told Reuters. “It’s awesome! Of course, you have a little apprehension, but I was just so amped. I literally had goosebumps and feel like a little kid….”
The price of a hoverbike? Only $777,000 according to current estimates, though the company hopes to get the cost down to about $50,000, The Detroit News reported.
The Detroit News adds this about the company’s founder/CEO:
As a boy, Shuhei Komatsu loved Star Wars movies, especially the lightning-fast land speeders. So when he grew up, he decided to make one of his own, he said.
“I wanted to make something from the movie real,” Komatsu said. “It’s a land speeder for the Dark Side….”
Komatsu said his company will make its public offering of stock on the NASDAQ exchange in November…. He said he’s hoping the U.S. government classifies its XTURISMO as a non-aircraft…. He said he thinks consumers will buy the machine for recreation, and governments will buy it for law enforcement and for inspecting infrastructure. “I hope that in the future, people will use it for every day,” he said.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.