SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS RADIO) – A taste of technology reminiscent of “Star Wars” or “The Jetsons” landed in Detroit, Mich., this month during the annual North American International Auto Show: a flying bike.
“We’ve all been going, ‘hey, where’s my flying car?’ and now they’re here,” said Sean Borman of Aeroauto in Stewart, Fla. – the only place where Americans can purchase the XTURISMO hovercraft – in an interview with WWJ’s Zach Clark. However, with a price tag of $770,000, the devices are still out of reach for most consumers.
“Right now, who is your customer? I’m assuming it’s not people like me – yet,” Clark asked during a recent episode of “The Daily J” podcast.
According to Stewart, while some members of the public may have enough funds to spend on the XTURISMO hovercraft, he is now focusing on municipal clients. He said the technology could be helpful for police, fire and medical rescue as well as public works projects, water management and forest management.
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Shuhei Komatsu, director, chairman and CEO of Aerwins – the Tokyo-based company that created XTURISMO – also said that these first models are meant for mainly government use. That said, those who got to try out the hovercraft said the experience was a thrill.
“I took off and I felt like, we were like, ‘Star Wars’, when I landed I felt sort of like James Bond,” Tad Schott, president of the Detroit Automobile Dealers Association, told Clark after his XTURISMO ride.
Komatsu said that he was indeed inspired by George Lucas’ space saga to create the vehicle. Clark said the device looks like a jet ski with four huge rotors and that it takes off vertically.
“The future is no longer a car,” he said. “George Jetson, he would be proud.”
According to Aerwins, the XTURISMO weighs a bit over 661 lbs. and is powered by internal combustion and a battery. It has a maximum cruising range of around 24 miles and a maximum speed around 60 m.p.h.