The future is now and science fiction is fact, as motorcycles take to the sky.
Just over a year ago, Hoversurf was displaying a quadcopter-like flying motorcycle that most people dismissed as vaporware, but Thursday CNN reported the first units were being used for training by the Dubai police department. The production version of the Hoverbike S3 is mostly carbon fibre, weighs 115 kg, has a top speed of 60 mph, and can remain aloft for nearly 30 minutes on a charge. The good news is that you too can cruise or commute five metres above traffic, park and take off from a normal parking spot, and the FAA has said you don't need a pilot's license. You will however need $150,000 burning a hole in your pocket.
Those numbers may not be all that impressive, but this is a motorcycle that flies and is actually for sale right now! Also, in the past year they have increased the top speed from 45 mph, and the cruise time from 20 minutes. Hoversurf is hard at work on more efficient battery and propulsion systems. The Hoverbike S4 is supposed to feature a ducted fan system which not only will deliver more lift for less energy, but is quieter and safer than having carbon fibre propellers spinning just a few feet from the rider (Some images show safety cages around them, but most do not).
You may question the logic behind a police department spending $150,000 on a very limited use flying motorcycle, but this is the same police force that uses Bentleys, Bugattis and other exotic cars for patrol. At least the flying motorcycle will be useful for transporting first responders to rough rural areas where even a Mercedes G-wagen can't get to (after being towed as close as possible by that same Mercedes).
The Dubai police force's general director of artificial intelligence, Brigadier Khalid Nasser Alrazooqi, who obviously handles other advanced technology as well, is currently training two teams to operate the hover cycle. Though Hoversurf has only delivered a single hoverbike at the moment, Dubai has an exclusive agreement with rights to as many of the first production units as they would like. The California based company, with Russian financing and principle officers, is currently looking for a place to set up their factory, and is considering Dubai.