We’re officially in the future that the Hollywood film Back to the Future predicted – the world now has jet packs and flying taxis, and last year, saw the launch of flying motorbike.
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A Japanese start-up launched a 77.7-million-yen (Dh2.5 million) hoverbike called the XTurismo Limited Edition, in October 2021. The black and red hoverbike consists of a motorbike style body on top of propellers. And although the bike will not currently be allowed over Japan’s congested roads, it could be used by rescue teams to reach challenging locations.
Here are a few other automobiles that are moving from the realm of science fiction to reality:
1. Jet packs
A device worn on the back, which uses jets of gas or liquid to propel a person through the air, the jet pack has captured people’s imaginations since the 1960s. Today, developers are creating real jet packs, but their use is much more limited than in movies or books, because of the challenges of Earth’s atmosphere, gravity, the low energy density of fuels. Jet packs are, however, currently being used for stunts.
2. Flying boats
During the 1920s and 1930s, flying boats became trendy. There were different kinds – large, small, two- and four-engined, and some could take off from the land as well as water. Today, these planes have morphed into smaller, more practical seaplanes that are amphibious and often operate in island countries or for aerial firefighting, and for access to roadless areas.
Also known as a gyrocopter, this rotary-wing aircraft flies by means of autorotation. Unlike the helicopter, its rotor is not powered by a motor but by the action of the airflow on its blades. One of its biggest advantages is that it’s extremely light, and it can be flown extremely slowly while remaining very agile. The aircraft can take off almost vertically and land with high approach angles, and it is safe and steady in strong wind conditions – some of the reasons why it is considered to be one of the safest aircrafts in the world.