Fans will make your landspeeder dreams come true

Marc Sanchez Aug 22, 2012

Next to Tattooine, the best place to test out a flying bike that kinda looks like a Star Wars landspeeder is probably the Mojave Desert. That’s where Mark De Roche and his team at Aerofex tested theirs. The design uses two big fans, pointed towards the ground, to lift the bike up to 15 feet in the air and send it whizzing at speeds that tops out at 30 mph. Gizmodo points out that it doesn’t look like it takes much training or effort to hop on one of the bikes and go for a spin.

The human pilot just have to lean and balance in a natural way, much like you do while driving a bicycle or a motor bike. It’s all instinctive, says De Roche: “since [the pilot’s] balancing movements are instinctive and constant, it plays out quite effortlessly to him.”

Sadly the speeder bike isn’t for public consumption, at least not yet. Aerofex hopes they can sell a finished version to the military. Again from Gizmodo:

The company thinks that it can be used for heavy lifting in rough terrains, without having to care about wheels or caterpillar tracks. And, unlike helicopters and other flying devices, this one can go in between trees and canyons: “they have unique performance advantages […] as they have demonstrated flight within trees, close to walls and under bridges.”

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.