The company is developing several models of the vehicle. The SkyBike is the kitbuilt version and due out first, although exactly when isn’t clear. The SwitchBlade will be the FAA-certified version. The SkyBike prototype is under development at Swift Engineering in San Clemente, California.
The idea is that you drive the vehicle like a motorcycle to the airport. There, you extend the telescoping wings and takeoff. At takeoff, the flat panel instrument display transitions from automotive instruments to aviation instruments.
SkyBike is the brainchild of inventor Sam Bousfield. He claims the canard layout, with main wing in the back, serves a dual purpose. For safe ground design and to reduce the potential for overturning, the center of weight is kept low and to the rear. Having a main rear wing places most of the lift where the majority of the weight is located, complimenting safety on the ground with safety in the air. Additionally, a canard is also stall-resistant, affording an added margin of protection.
The company offers an email newsletter through its site for those who want to follow the project throughout development.
So, what’s your pleasure? Terrafugia’s Transition or Samson’s SkyBike?
Tags: Tom Haines