Published August 02, 2013
They’ve got sky-high hopes.
A pair of designers and aviation enthusiasts have built what they call the world’s first flying bicycle, and they’re seeking money on Kickstarter to make their dreams soar, too.
Named the XploreAir Paravelo, the contraption marries an ordinary two-wheeled bike -- with off-the-shelf handlebars, a seat and brakes -- with a trailer attachment containing a parachute and a turbofan.
The bike works as any ordinary one would until you unfurl the chute -- they call it a wing -- and power up the fan.
They you’ll be “flamping,” or fly/camping, say the designers behind the project.
“Both myself and Yannick have always a had a passion for cycling and for aircraft of every type,” said John Foden, one half of the design team behind the Paravelo. “Basically, we wanted something we could ride and fly out of our backyard.”
The vehicle takes off from any open space and reaches 4,000 feet, and it can reach 25 mph in the air, according to a new Kickstarter page where the designers aim to raise money for the project.
“With your support, we can take the flying bicycle into production and make the idea fly,” said Yannick Read, the other designer, in a video ad designed to encourage donations on Kickstarter. The pair seeks about $76,000 (50,000 British pounds) to turn the idea into a product.
“One of the biggest barriers to flying is cost,” he said.
The Paravelo should solve that, making flying affordable. Possibly. The Kickstarter campaign doesn’t mention what a finished product would cost.