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Lazareth demonstrates functional hoverbike

By Shawn Knight · 19 replies
Mar 18, 2019
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  1. French automaker Lazareth in December teased la moto volante, or the flying bike. The product depicted in the promo looked more like something Batman would ride. The teaser was so polished, in fact, that some didn’t know if it was an actual product Lazareth was working on or simply a concept vision of the future.

    Thanks to a recent video update, we now know the former seems the likely candidate.

    Lazareth in the above clip demonstrates the bike’s ability to hover under its own power on a tether, complete with rider (although might I add, a very petite rider). The bike is also shown driving on its wheels although it’s unclear what sort of propulsion system it is using.

    When hovering, however, it’s incredibly loud and sounds like a jet engine taking off.

    As Elon Musk correctly pointed out, the problem – again highlighted with this flying bike – is in the propulsion system. Spinning rotors are loud, and really, we already have that – it’s called a helicopter. For flying vehicles to really excel, they'd seemingly need some sort of revolutionary propulsion system... magnetic levitation, that sort of thing.

    Permalink to story.

  2. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Evangelist Posts: 1,234   +894

    #1 spinning rotors are a laceration/ fatality risk... never gonna happen at ground level

    #2 spinning rotors violate noise ordinance ... never gonna happen at ground level

    #3 The government itself controls the airspace - most of these "flying cars" are actually "driving helicopters" or "driving airplanes". The newest generation of "man sized drones" are "quadcopters. FAA has the final say on them and for the most part, they aren't legal to operate on or near public roads.

    You try lifting off higher than house height and you'll get a visit from the FAA.

    #4 If the NTSB has authority, they'll force you to add personal safety systems and pedestrian protection systems which will add considerable mass.

    That's also part of the reason they used a person who weighs less than 100KG. This thing obviously weighs alot - probably moreso than it would have if it was all-electric.

    #5 When it folds up, you can see it has 4 wheels.

    4 wheels gets classified as a "motor car"

    The Dodge Tomahawk had the same problem and couldn't enter production because it didn't have a "motor car's" necessary protections .
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019
    TempleOrion likes this.
  3. fps4ever

    fps4ever TS Evangelist Posts: 304   +295

    All it actually does is hover, no forward or backwards...LOL
  4. comnut

    comnut TS Rookie

    Notice the 'tethers' that stop the bike going out of control...

    The problem with other 'hover' systems is trying to stand still or in a controllable line...

    a nice Idea, but needs 10times thrust , and 10times less noise to make it possible..
  5. Vrmithrax

    Vrmithrax TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,464   +489

    The video mentioned that the wheel drive was electric. And the thing sounds like a jet engine taking off because that's exactly what it is - 4 jet engines burning kerosene, to be exact. They appear to be scaled up versions of the same kind of jets that the "Jetman" Yves Rossy uses on his flying wing backpack system.

    As for the tethers - this was obviously a controlled lift test, they were confirming that the jets do generate enough thrust to lift the weight of the bike and a petite rider. Controlling that hover is a whole other set of tests - coordinating 4 individual jet engines to provide stable hover and directional flight will be a fun challenge to watch them tackle on this project.
    TempleOrion likes this.
  6. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,914   +3,977

    I'm kind of wondering when, these companies, and the starry eyed public along with them, are going to confess to the fact, that for close quarter operation, you need "boots on the ground", so to speak.

    Anyone who has ever docked even a small boat, would realize the mental calculations required to avoid ramming into the dock are more difficult than parking a passenger car.

    Air, being a much less viscous fluid than water, requires even more lead time in performing similar operations. So, unless very sophisticated flight control computers are employed, people would be banging into fixed objects and each other at alarming rates...

    When you stir in the possibility of people, "FUI", (flying under the influence), the possibility of mishap becomes quite imminent.

    Helicopters are among the most difficult aircraft to fly, and the most expensive to maintain. Engines used in ultralight aircraft have very short tear down times as dictated by the FAA. I think I remember a time as short as 200 hours on a Rotax. (Your typical Lycoming in a light plane, gets about 2,000 before tear down).

    The fact that this test was done with the bike hanging from a crane, tell me this is some jacka** CEO, looking for press, and not a viable project, for the time being, and likely for a considerable time into the future.

    Perhaps sometime in an idyllic, gilded, future, we'll shun fats and refined sugar, and evolve to creatures with very light hollow bones. (And then start growing feathers out of our a**es).
  7. Manrubio

    Manrubio TS Rookie Posts: 40   +11

    I think sooner than later some type of technology that allows the use of hovers should kick-in... I mean.. we are able to put a freaking plane on the clouds with 200+ people traveling for hours across oceans.. We have helicopters for local travel long travel.. I mean.. we event have landed equipment in other planets... HOW THE FREAK is it that it is so hard to develop an actual Hover that works! ? Hahaha.
  8. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,914   +3,977


    Not what you had in mind? I'm sure our staff would welcome an article about a craft you develop. (y) (Y)
  9. Badvok

    Badvok TS Maniac Posts: 296   +152

    It's interesting that Shawn appears to have missed this, perhaps he didn't actually watch the video he posted a story about?
  10. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,914   +3,977

    Shawn, like everyone else associated with the media, is subject to deadlines. Haste makes waste, or so they say.

    I'm sure any corrections, omissions, or amended misstatements of fact, will be on the back page of tomorrow's print edition.

    As a strange coincidence, the link I published above (#8), to a story about hover boats, claimed at least part of the reason they were taken out of service, is that they were too damned loud
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2019
  11. Badvok

    Badvok TS Maniac Posts: 296   +152

    Like those incredibly sophisticated systems built into a $25 drone?

    I think you're mistaking safety harnesses for lifting apparatus, there is no doubt that jets like these exist and can be used in the way shown. Still a long, long way from a practical hover bike though.
    TempleOrion likes this.
  12. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,914   +3,977

    Because, the gyro and servo mechanisms in a $25.00 2 ounce drone have enough power to control a platform with a man on board. Right?
    That's when the ugly and pervasive fact that inertia equals mass times velocity kicks in.

    Besides when you're building something for the general public, you must design a safety margin past foolproof, and into the arena of, "imbecile proof". It's a "Brave New World". One in which everyone has their personal injury lawyer on speed dial

    And as you well know, those toy drones never crash, so maybe you're onto something

    I'm well aware jet turbines exist in very small sizes. In fact, RC aircraft using them can be found on the web, along with free plans for building one, (or more).

    Which calls into question why they would need a safety harness, if as you say, the flight controls from a dime store drone could handle the task

    Then too, it would depend on what is your definition of "hover". The hover boats which have been operating literally for decades, have a flexible skirt / shroud, call it what you will, to contain the down thrust, while another engine, (or set of engines), provide the forward momentum..

    When a wing or propeller is operated close to the ground, you encounter "ground effect", which increases the available lift.

    Never mind, you're not really worth my time typing. Look it up.:p
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2019
  13. mgwerner

    mgwerner TS Booster Posts: 69   +45

    She's pretty hot in all that leather.
    TempleOrion likes this.
  14. Lew Zealand

    Lew Zealand TS Guru Posts: 659   +551

    This is DOA as it will never produce a product the public can buy. However it's great vehicle (pun!) for extracting money out of venture capital investors!
  15. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,374   +3,770

    Regardless of all the nay sayers I think it's cool as hell. With all the red tape here I'll probably never live long enough to see it in practical use but if I do and can still walk, not totally blind, and can get away from the bathroom for more than an hour at a time ..... I want one!!!!
  16. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,914   +3,977

    The AV-8 "Harrier" was a cool idea as well. However, even on their carriers, the Brits don't use utilize its "jump jet" capabilities.They use "ski jump" type ramps, to limit the amount of thrust vectoring necessary for take off.. Vertical take offs limit the crafts range considerably, as obviously the craft's thrust to wright ratio meeds to be greater than 1:1.

    How exactly that would scale to a personal vehicle, is to me an unknown. But, to lift a 200 pound human you still need 200+ pounds of downward thrust, and that's discounting the weight of the power plant(s), along with the rest of the vehicle.

    Something the membership here has ignored completely, is the danger to life and property these would present to the public. Maybe y'all live in nice neighborhoods where Tommy down the street would wear his helmet, obey the speed limit, and come to a complete stop at those octagonal red signs.

    I can first hand tell you, the psychopaths on trail bikes and ATVs in the big city, observe no traffic laws whatsoever, pride themselves on their police evasion skills, and don't normally bother with such niceties as mufflers.

    Point being, if these machines were released to the public, those inner city "youts", would spare no effort in peddling illegal drugs, or outright theft of the vehicles, to get their hands on them and terrorize city neighborhoods with them.
  17. fps4ever

    fps4ever TS Evangelist Posts: 304   +295

    This type of flashy science/hardware is an uneducated investor's wet dream. Sort of an ongoing money pit. The one thing it might do is advance specific areas that would be worth money in the future selling off parts of the tech to bigger companies. Most likely the original investors will be SOL.
  18. 3volv3d

    3volv3d TS Addict Posts: 163   +61

    The real issue is that, it is all BS.
    What good will this achieve? None. There is no point in filling the skies with *****s as well as our roads.
    The more the population rises the more traffic, the earlier you will all be travelling to your place of slavitude for the day. And then the long *** journey home. If its even worth it.
    The way we commute needs to radically change. We can't keep wasting time on pointless shite ideas such as these.
    Everyone can already see 4000 reasons not to build these. So wtf?
    I've seen an idea of smart glass roads that have leds and charging underneath. WiFi.
    The idea of smart lanes for autonomous travel. If this was going to be anything, it would need to be like japan's magnet train. And in fact you may as well have that. More people can fit on one of them.
  19. Q Wales

    Q Wales TS Rookie

  20. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Evangelist Posts: 1,234   +894

    Dubai’s RTA

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