We’ve been dreaming of a flying motorcycle like the Speeder bike from ‘Star Wars’ for a long time. And although we are still far from seeing this type of vehicle in the air, some companies are putting the most interesting proposals on the table. Mayman Aerospace has unveiled a prototype of its P2 speeder.
Although we call it a “flying bike,” we’re looking at a vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aerial vehicle with some pretty unique features. On the one hand we have futuristic lines that are fed by a shiny carbon fiber structure and places the pilot in an aerodynamically favorable position.
On the other hand we have eight jet engines that are in charge of propulsion. Each of them has a gimbal that allows the P2 Speeder to move freely and achieve high-speed horizontal flight. These, in addition, are fueled with sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), an alternative to traditional fuels that is already being used in large aircraft.
P2 Speeder, a multipurpose flying motorcycle
The flying motorcycle has a computer with a patented system that is responsible for controlling the propulsion system to maintain balance, even if one of the engines fails, a feature that seeks to protect the pilot’s safety against a blind person in mid-flight.
However, the P2 Speeder also can be used unmanned. Its modular design and remote control system allow accessories to be added for various purposes. For example, to be used in firefighting, for emergency evacuations, for patrolling or to transport cargo.
JetPack Aviation, the parent company of JetPack Aviation, has been working on VTOL solutions for more than a decade, such as its self-propelled backpacks capable of lifting us off the ground, however it still has a way to go with its “flying motorcycle”. For now, they explain, they are working to improve the capabilities of the P2 Speeder.
If all goes according to plan, the first remote-controlled flight tests of the latest prototype (two had already been submitted) will begin in the third quarter of this year. The tests with pilots will arrive at the end of 2022. With this, the company hopes to obtain a certification from the Federal Aviation Administration of the United States (FAA, for its acronym in English) and later offer its product commercially.
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