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 .

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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