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Just when you thought it was safe to take the old flying car out for a spin, Samson Motorworks brings out its flying motorcycle, the Switchblade™ Multi Mode Vehicle (MMV).

I recently saw this gem in the Scientific American newsletter. DIY kits should be available in 2011 after the flight testing program is complete. A kit, without engine or avionics, will set you back around $60K; add another $25K or so for the engine and avionics. Shown above with its wings flipped out from their protective clamshell compartments and the stabilizer extended from the rear, the three-wheel Switchblade™ uses a motorcycle engine (~ 150 horsepower) to turn the propeller, or to drive the continuously variable transmission. When flying, the Switchblade™ will have a 340-mile range at a cruising speed of 134 mph while getting 22 mpg.

Reconfigured for ground operation as shown above, the Switchblade™ will have an 880-mile range, go 90 mph or more, and get as high as 60 mpg. It will seat two side by side. You can make a refundable deposit for your kit today.

Switchblade™ [Manufacturer’s Site]
Easy Flyer [Scientific American]

13 Responses to It’s Just Cool: Switchblade Flying Motorcycle

  1. Jerry says:

    Okay. Here’s my offer: If 85,000 readers will each send me a dollar, I will buy this awesome little toy, test it and report my test results here.
    This is seriously a unique vehicle. If it actually becomes available I would imagine that most of us will have to wait for them to appear on the “used” market to be able to afford one.
    Start sending those dollars!

  2. russ says:

    I believe that would be a flying trike, right?

  3. Kyle says:

    Yeah right. I’ll believe it when I see it. Every 6 months some company comes out with one of these, but I still have never actually seen one get passed “coming soon”

  4. Matt says:

    These guys have actually figured out a way to make a motorcycle more dangerous. I want one though. I wonder if they’ll really be available in 2011. The Moller Skycar has been a year or two away from production for at least the last ten years.

  5. Old Coot says:

    Jerry: I sent your dollar to the folks at Moller and asked them to forward it to you via Skycar, so it should be there any day now. Keep watching the sky. 🙂

  6. Dave P says:

    I see motorcycles fly though Atlanta every Friday night in the Summer. Put a thugged-up high school dropout on a Hayabusa and you see some real spectacular wrecks.

  7. olderthanyou says:

    According to thier website, none of the four principles involved have any higher degree than a thirty year old bachelor of science from some sattelite U of C and a masters degree in marketing (marketing?). In other words Iwouldn’t hold my breath.

  8. bajajoaquin says:

    One of the issues you see in automotive engine conversions is that the duty cycle is so totally different. On a motorcycle, you may have 150 hp, which is comparible to a small aircraft engine. However, the aircraft engine is designed to produce 75% of that rated power for 2000 hours. The motorcycle engine is designed to produce maybe 25% of that rated power for perhaps 1000 hours.

    What you get is two completely different engines optimized for two different missions. There was a company that found this out when trying to make 400-hp class engines out of Chevy V-8s. When they finally hit the market, their engines didn’t share a single part with the original Chevy.

    So, for a real, reliable vehicle on a converted motorcycle engine? No way.

  9. Robert says:

    Looks like it uses a rotary engine as produced so the duty cycle concern may be OK.

    From the website “ENGINE = 150 hp Freedom Motor twin rotor (or applicable motorcycle engine)”

  10. JIM says:

    Didn’t John Denver have one of these?….

  11. Chris says:

    Robert: Just because it uses a rotary engine doesn’t mean that engine was designed for a near-constant high-power duty cycle. In fact, I don’t know of any mass-produced rotary (Wankel) engine that *was* designed for that sort of usage.

    cl

  12. Mark says:

    Did evel kunevel have this and fail ha ha ha

  13. selim says:

    I want to this one

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