Since Return of the Jedi, we have dreamed of flying motorcycles. With each year, we seem to keep getting closer to sci-fi action flick crafts like hoverbikes and jet packs. If the idea of hopping on your own personal flying craft is appealing to you, we have good news; the good people at Zapata might have something called the Jetracer ready for you as early as next year.
Do hoverbikes exist?
According to Cnet, they might very soon. Zapata has made several viral videos of incredibly cool future machines buzzing around. These videos are the real-world version of crafts that many of us have dreamed of for decades.
Zapata has prototyped various crafts that scratch that itch, but now the company is making moves to bring something called the Jetracer to market.
What can the Jetracer actually do?
Zapata claims the Jetracer will have 10 jet engines capable of hitting 155 mph and climbing an astounding 9,800 ft. Of course, these figures won’t be finalized until testing is complete. The Jetracer bridges the gap between Zapata’s recreational vehicles and the air mobility market.
Zapata also addressed safety concerns by saying that with 10 engines, the Jetracer can still fly if it loses two.
Can anyone fly the Jetracer?
If you’ve driven cars your whole life, that doesn’t mean you can ride a motorcycle. Everything about these two vehicles is different. While this wildcraft is very exciting, how much is needed to fly it?
Apparently, despite the Jetracer’s wild design, “It’s actually quite easy to fly,” according to Jules Birchler, Zapata’s head of business development. The Jetracer has a built-in flight controller that is said to be designed to make it difficult to crash. There will be some element of autonomous flying that seems to be able to take control in changing weather conditions or poor flying.
Interestingly, the company says the pilot will input where they want to go, and the flight controller will figure out how to do it. There is even a video of an unmanned Jetracer doing a barrel roll. The system used data from a flight simulator to figure out how to do it.
Zapata says that the Jetracer will come to America for test flights in 2023. The goal is to open flight centers where interested parties can come and rent them, like dune buggies or jet skies.
Cnet notes that Birchler also teased Zapata’s follow-up to the Jetracer, called the Air Scooter. This version features a hybrid electric and combustion engine and a longer flight time. He said the Air Scooter could launch as early as the latter half of 2023.