Suzuki to collaborate on VTOL flying vehicle project

Suzuki has signed up to help develop new VTOL flying vehicles, with the first working models apparently due in the next three years


MOTORCYCLE maker Suzuki is turning its hand to the world of Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) flying vehicles after it signed up to assist SkyDrive with its production and development.

It might sound like a storyline from the classic cartoon The Jetsons, although as we've seen in recent years, a number of traditional motorcycle makers are taking the notion of VTOL fairly seriously. The latest global motorcycle maker to jump on the hovering bandwagon is Suzuki, which has teamed up with SkyDrive to help it design and deliver its personal flying vehicle project.

SkyDrive is already deep into the development of its first model, a single-seat machine that wouldn't look out of place in the video game Wipeout. The plan though is to develop a two-seat machine for use by private owners in the years to come. 

Suzuki's part in the project is helping out with R&D, planning for manufacturing and mass-production, and the development of overseas markets with an initial focus on India. SkyDrive has already piled on the pressure to deliver, as it has publicly announced it is planning on taking its products to the 2025 World Exposition in Osaka, Japan, where they will provide an air taxi for visitors.

The VTOL aircraft you can see in the video above is the first version of SkyDrive's vision, an electrically powered, single-seater test mule. The final machine, which is hoped to be ready for 2025, will be a two-seater machine, with a 500m maximum flights ceiling, 60mph top speed, and a flight time of between 20 and 30 minutes.

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