Ever since the Wright Brothers, man has dreamed about flying like a bird. We have all sorts of aircraft out there that allow you to take to the skies, but you never get the same experience as a hawk soaring over the forest or even a pigeon fluttering around in the park. Sure, we have commercial aircraft, fighter jets, and hot air balloons, but the sensation of human flight has not yet been achieved. We’re actually a lot closer to making that a reality than you think, though.
Some guy named Larry Neal developed what he calls the Super Sky Cycle. It takes a somewhat eccentric-looking bicycle, straps on a rudimentary engine, and tops it off with all sorts of rotors and other helicopter gear. The end result is a flying motorcycle that is actually road-registered and available for purchase (as a kit for $37k USD). The rotor on top can be folded up, so that the Super Sky Cycle can be stored away more easily. The transmission can also switch between driving the rear rotor and the rear wheels, so it is just as useful on the road as it is in the air. Click here for videos of the Super Sky Cycle in action
One of the biggest restrictions to the Super Sky Cycle is that it is still a vehicle that you sit in, not unlike a private jet or a small helicopter. Man is not flying, per se. Man is fluttering around in a smaller helicopter. Yves Rossy of Switzerland was a little more adventurous.
Rossy, known to some folks as FusionMan, had a decorated career in the military as the pilot of a fighter jet. He later went on to fly commercial airplanes for a living. He’s also partaken in sky surfing, but none of these ever achieved the level of “flying like a bird” that he wanted. So he went and developed one crazy flight system. What resulted was a set of fiberglass and Kevlar wings outfitted with small, but powerful Jetcat engines. It was ground-breaking. It was dangerous. But he did it. He actually flew.
When you’re on a glider, you are descending toward the Earth the entire time. With Rossy’s JetWing, he was able to remain horizontal for over four minutes. His next goal is to try to ascend. The documentary video below is definitely worth the four minutes of your time. Craaaaaazy!