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Flying 'helicopter' bike unveiled in Prague

By Kristen Butler, UPI.com   |   June 13, 2013 at 1:38 PM   |   Comments

June 13 (UPI) -- Three Czech companies have teamed up to make a prototype of a flying electric bicycle that successfully took a test flight Wednesday inside an exhibition hall in Prague.

It looks like a mountain bike with attached industrial fans -- a bit like a helicopter. It weighs just over 200 pounds and has two battery-powered propellers in the front, two in the back and one each on the side to provide lift and balance.

Czech Republic companies Duratec Bicycles, Technodat and Evektor developed the flying bike with support from French company Dassault Systèmes.

A lightweight dummy rode in the saddle for the remote-controlled test flight in front of press. Milan Duchek, technical director of Duratec, says more powerful batteries will be needed before the machine can carry a human.

But as battery power and capacity improves, city cyclists could find themselves flying high above traffic. Engineers hope their invention will be used not just for commuting, but for sport, tourism and recreation.

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