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Tech startup announces flying motorcycle prototype with impressive airborne features — here's how it works

The sky is the limit.

The sky is the limit.

Photo Credit: UDX

Cruising capability has taken on a new meaning.

Czech company UDX has developed an electric vertical take-off and landing (evTOL) prototype that can travel airborne at incredible heights with speed, efficiency, and agility. Known as Airwolf, the hoverbike prototype is developed with impressive individually tilting ducted fan propulsion technology, allowing it to hover and cruise at speeds of up to 142 miles per hour. 

The prototype is unique in its development to generate 430 horsepower with "hummingbird-like" agility, as New Atlas detailed. Built as fully electric with four fan units that move independently, there is less of a strain on the batteries that power the aircraft to provide a longer range of flight. 

Since the prototype was announced, the company has noted areas for improvement. While the Airwolf is built with speed and agility in mind, it is limited to 25 minutes of flight time. To fly the prototype in the United States, drivers are required to attend 20 hours of flight training to receive a sports pilot license. Customers would have to dig deeply into their wallets as well to cover the $320,000 purchase cost, according to Captain Electro.  

According to a publication by ScienceDirect, the benefits of the technology behind evTOLs include a reduction in traffic congestion from traditional vehicles, zero direct pollution as they use electric propulsion systems, and a decrease in noise levels for urban areas compared to standard vehicles. This leads to safer travel and cleaner air for communities. 

Transportation pollution is a significant issue impacting both our health and the environment. For example, residents near the U.S.-Mexico border in El Paso are experiencing severe health problems due to air pollution from idling vehicles, particularly transport trucks. This pollution has been known to increase the incidence of asthma, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and is even linked to higher risks of mental health challenges.

The popularity of electric vehicles has been seen as a solution to curbing the planet-overheating pollution caused by transportation. For example, a study from the University of Southern California found that for every additional 20 zero-emission vehicles per 1,000 people, there was a noticeable drop in asthma-related emergency visits. This means that as more people switch to EVs, air quality improves significantly. 

The impression left by UDX's Airwolf has inspired efforts from other companies as well, including the semi-functioning road-and-air-going jet-cycle by Lazareth's Moto Volante, or the Air One made by Isreali-based company Air. 

With the federal government's Inflation Reduction Act fostering the shift to sustainable transportation — preventing up to 100,000 asthma attacks every single year by 2030 and stopping almost 3,900 unnecessary premature deaths — the time is right for these developments in responsible travel to take flight. 

"Now this is what an evTOL should look like," said one commenter on the Airwolf prototype announcement.

The sky is truly the limit.

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