The flying engine is back in Dubai – and you could see the police driving in the not too distant future.
A year after the startup Hoversurf in California, which showed his hoverbike at tech expo GITEX in the white and green colors of the Dubai Police, the company has come back with a new model and proof that its electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicle (eVTOL) is possible. is well, take off.
With the realization of a deal signed in 2017, Hoversurf has now donated Dubai Police its first series production unit of the S3 2019 Hoverbike and has started training officers to fly it.
Brigadier General Khalid Nasser Alrazooqi, general manager of the artificial intelligence department at Dubai Police, described the eVTOL vehicle as a first aid unit that was used to reach hard to reach areas. He said he wants to have hoverbikes in action by 2020.
"We currently have two crews who are already training (to drive the hoverbike) and we are increasing the number", he told CNN. Hoversurf chief operating officer Joseph Segura-Conn explained that ideal candidates will be able to ride a motorcycle and have experience with drone. Video of an officer who piloted the hover, appeared online last month.
Segura-Conn said the Dubai police have the exclusive right to order as many units as they want: "They will let us know in the next two months if they want more … If they want 30 or 40, then for them. "
If you are not a member of the Force and have a reserve of $ 150,000, the hoverbike can still be yours. Orders are open to citizens, but Segura-Conn warns that buyers will be screened to ensure they can handle the new technology. In the US the hoverbike has complied with the guidelines of the Federal Aviation Administration, which means that you do not need a pilot's license to fly with the vehicle.
Tim Robinson, editor-in-chief of the Aerospace magazine, described the vehicle as "rather limited" when it came to potential police work, but did not pour cold water on the hoverbike, but added "cans of pleasure".
He explained that eVTOL & # 39; s are limited by current battery technology, but that progress, particularly in the energy density of the battery and the introduction of new materials such as graphene, could increase flight time in the future.
Both the Hoversurf police and the Dubai Police have indicated that they achieve this goal, either through battery technology or more efficient propulsion systems. Hoversurf has already developed a tunneled fan system that, according to him, is smaller, quieter, safer and more efficient than a propeller with the same thrust that it intends to add to future models.
A production site for the S3 2019 has yet to be confirmed, but Segura-Conn said that Hoversurf is in talks "with three companies in different locations around the world" – Dubai is a location.
The S3 2019 connects to an ever-growing group of eVTOL aircraft in various stages of completion. Earlier this year, CNN took a ride in the Flyer from Kitty Hawk, another personal eVTOL aircraft that jumped from view to reality. Hoversurf also has a larger, two-seater flying car that he plans to show in "four to five months" and sell in 2020, Segura-Conn said.
Robinson estimated that more than 100 eVTOL or flying car projects have already been announced. He compared this period of frantic activity and pioneering spirit with the early days of motorized flights.
"There are many different configurations: people with external rotors, tunneled fans, wings, no wings, tilting wings, tilt rotors," he said. "Nobody knows exactly how it will work out or who will be successful."
"I think it's a very exciting time – (a) great time – for innovations in the aerospace industry."