“Star Wars: Return of the Jedi” enjoys immortal, legendary film status not just because of its inspirational heroes, rounded epic story, or lasting triumph of good over evil – it also has spaceships, lightsabers, and hover bikes.
Once Aerofex’s new Aero-X hover bike hits the market in 2017, fans will finally get to live out the adult version of their dreams, and chase down imagined stormtroopers through Endor’s green forests on a real-life hover bike capable of flying 10 feet off the ground at 45 m.p.h. for up to 75 minutes, according to the company’s website.
The two-passenger bike is made up of light-weight carbon fiber frames and fan blades, and is powered by a 240-horsepower three-rotor rotary engine. Aerofex explains the bike handles like a motorcycle, relying on a combination of throttle, steering and a rider’s ability to lean into turns. As such, it requires no special licensing or flight training, and can be learned to control in a weekend.
“We’ve done a lot of work to learn how to remove [the complexity of helicopter controls],” Aerofex founder and Chief Technology Officer Mark De Roche told Discovery News. “That’s the key for someone who only has motorcycle experience to able able to get on it and feel comfortable right away.”
At a price tag of $85,000 (roughly the same as a new Range Rover), “right away” might be a stretch, but still “costs a fraction of even the most basic airplane or helicopter,” the website points out.
The company states the bike is designed to fly over flat terrain or hills, and is not recommended for use over mountainous terrain. So, provided you can effectively steer around trees, your “Star Wars” fantasy should still be doable – minus the blasters and lightsabers.