Chinese drone engineer's shed-built flying motorbike can hit 43mph

A dream 1,564 test flights in the making

FLYING CARS from exciting tech start-ups may be the new hot thing for billionaire investors, but put a humble engineer in a shed with some components and a vision and they can still come up with their own home-built solutions.

This example from Zhao Deli, a 40 year old drone technician in China’s Guandong province, for example, is a flying motorcycle project he first began two years ago after watching a video of a similar contraption; it seems to be inspired by the Scorpion-3, from Russian company Hoversurf.

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Deli has named his vehicle “Jindouyun”, after the “cloud somersault” that the Monkey King performs in Chinese novel Journey to the West, according to China Daily.

It can can reach speeds of up to 43mph and travel for 30 minutes before the batteries need to be recharged.

Being a one-man operation, it’s perhaps unsurprising that the flying motorcycle’s development has no been entirely smooth-going. The very first test flight ended with the device’s batteries catching fire, with another crash occurring during a trial run the following year. In total, 1,564 test flights have been undertaken in order to reach this stage.

Deli hopes for Jindouyun to be more than a novelty project, saying he wishes the craft to be used for tasks such as spraying farm crops with pesticide.

More is being planned for the flying motorcycle project, too: Deli’s ultimate ambition is to fly his creation along the Yellow River — though clearly not the entirety of the waterway’s estimated 3,400 miles in length.

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