Support road.cc

Like this site? Help us to make it better.

Video: Flying bike makes maiden flight in Czech Republic

Pedal-powered on the ground, propeller-powered in the air... but don't start saving your pennies, it won't be for sale

A flying bike this week undertook its maiden flight, in the Czech capital Prague. Pedal-powered while on the ground, it is propellers that get the F-Bike airborne and keep it there, with the machine able to keep airborne for between three and five minutes at a time.

The bike carried a mannequin for its test flight, with movement controlled remotely from the ground, but by this autumn it is hoped to have a human pilot to guide it using a fly by wire system.

The F-Bike has been developed under a project called Design Your Dreams and is the result of collaboration between Czech companies Technodat, Evektor and Duratec, with the help of French business Dassault Systèmes among other partners.

According to Wired.com, it hasn’t taken massive investment to get the prototype off the ground, as it were – the tech website puts the project cost “in the low five figures,” with many parts supplied off the shelf. 

The flight took place six months shy of the 110th anniversary this December of Orville Wright taking to the air for the first time in 1903 aboard the Flyer aircraft he had designed and built with his brother Wilbur.

A decade earlier, the pair had set up their own bicycle sales and repair shop, moving into making their own bicycles in 1896, using the profits of the business to finance their pioneering work in the field of flying.

The F-Bike brings that journey back full circle, but you won’t be able to buy one in the shops, sadly – its creators say it’s enough for them to see the F-Bike complete the journey from conception to full operation.

“Our main motivation in working on the project was neither profit nor commercial interest, but the fulfilment of our boyish dreams,” commented project engineer Ales Kobylik.

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

Add new comment

2 comments

Avatar
Viro Indovina | 11 years ago
0 likes

look who just put the F into art bikes!

Avatar
AndrewRH | 11 years ago
0 likes

Literally: red light jumping. Presumably legal in this?  16

Latest Comments

  • Simon E 1 hour 18 min ago

    This afternoon the local paper reported 4 miles of tailbacks and a 60-minute delay after a car fire closed a lane on the M54. There had been a less...

  • C3a 1 hour 15 min ago

    Carbon monoxide "binds" to haemoglobin with an affinity 200x to 240x that of oxygen - and the half-life of the unfortunately quite stable complex...

  • C3a 1 hour 37 min ago

    I think it would be fun to see whether you could persuade a friendly TdF rider to join you for a little race - where you get an amazeballs bike and...

  • andystow 1 hour 59 min ago

    I made that work once... well, walking, not running.

  • NoOneSpecial 3 hours 16 min ago

    The frames are made in the same factory as Squish, distributed by the Tandem Group, formally Dawes....

  • Krislord 3 hours 18 min ago

    I got a nearly new Ribble on the used market last year and I love it, I can see one of these being my next bike if and when I decide an upgrade is...

  • Robert Hardy 3 hours 23 min ago

    In recent months it has probably been a bit of swamp, though I do notice the same on my park, some sort of deep seated fear of the wild!

  • 11waterloo 3 hours 37 min ago

    I had to decide between Cort & Matthews this morning. Naturally I got the wrong one! At least Matthews didn't win but those intermediate sprint...

  • Rendel Harris 6 hours 11 min ago

    The converse of that is that if you tell them they're on camera and being reported and the police take no action at least a) they might consider...

  • mark1a 6 hours 13 min ago

    I think it's due to an "undocumented feature not available in the next release"* introduced by a recent update of the Garmin Connect Mobile app....