Are flying motorbikes the future for Dubai?  03/22/2019 02:12:59  4

Making good on a deal signed in 2017, Hoversurf has now gifted Dubai Police its first serial production unit of the S3 2019 Hoverbike and has begun training officers to fly it.

Brigadier Khalid Nasser Alrazooqi, general director of Dubai Police's artificial intelligence department, described the eVTOL vehicle as a first responder unit used to access hard to reach areas. He said he aims to have hoverbikes in action by 2020.

Segura-Conn said Dubai Police have exclusive rights to order as many units as they want: "They're going to let us know in the next month or two if they'd like any more ... If they would like 30 or 40, we'll make it happen for them."

If you're not a member of the force and have a spare $150,000, the hoverbike could still be yours. Orders are open to civilians, but Segura-Conn cautions that buyers are screened to ensure they can handle the new tech. In the US, the hoverbike has met Federal Aviation Administration guidelines which mean you do not need a pilot's license to fly the vehicle.
An 2017 Hoversurf hoverbike tested in Dubai last year.
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Tim Robinson, editor-in-chief of Aerospace magazine, described the vehicle as "pretty limited" when it came to potential police work, but did not pour cold water on the hoverbike, adding it "looks bags of fun."

He explained that eVTOLs are limited by current battery technology, but said advances -- particularly in battery energy density, and introducing new materials like graphene -- could increase flight times in the future.

Both Hoversurf and Dubai Police said they were working towards this aim, either through battery technology or more efficient propulsion systems. Hoversurf has already developed a ducted fan system it claims is smaller, quieter, safer and more efficient than a propeller with the equivalent thrust, that it plans to add to future models.

The S3 2019 in Dubai Police livery in the city in October.

A manufacturing site for the S3 2019 is yet to be confirmed, but Segura-Conn said Hoversurf is in talks "with three companies in different locations around the world" -- Dubai being one location.

The S3 2019 joins an ever-growing crowd of eVTOL aircraft in various stages of completion. Earlier this year CNN took a ride in the Flyer by Kitty Hawk, another personal eVTOL aircraft that has jumped from rendering to reality. Hoversurf also has a bigger, two-seater flying car it plans to showcase in "four to five months" and sell in 2020, said Segura-Conn.
Dubai Police Brigadier Khalid Nasser Alrazooqi told CNN two crews are already training to pilot the eVTOL aircraft.

Robinson estimated over 100 eVTOL or flying car projects have already been announced. He compared this period of frenzied activity and pioneering spirit to the early days of powered flight.

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"There's lots of different configurations: people with external rotors, ducted fans, wings, no wings, tilt wings, tilt rotors," he said. "No one knows exactly how it's going to pan out or who is going to be successful."

"I think it's a very exciting time -- (a) great time -- for innovations in the aerospace industry."

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