The Moto Volante is the world’s first actual flying motorcycle. It can be driven on the road and flown in the air when its wheels fold out and upward to become jet-powered thrust pods. French custom auto/moto maker Ludovic Lazareth has a long history of building wacky and bizarre one-offs and short-run vehicles, but the Moto Volante flying motorcycle is his most ambitious yet. The new video shows this beast of a thing taking off and achieving a stable hover on tethers.
The intention of this vehicle is for the rider to be able to cruise it on the road, and then when they’ve had it with traffic, they can pull over to a suitable launch area. With just the press of a button, the bike converts from ride mode to fly mode and, after waiting about 60 seconds for the jets pre-heat, the driver can lift off and leave the gridlock behind as a pilot.
Appearance wise, it is an evolution of Lazareth’s own mind-boggling LM-847 – a tilting four-wheeler built around a fire-breathing 470-horsepower Maserati engine. But the Moto Volante is on another level. Placed in the hub of each wheel is a 96,000-rpm JetCat jet turbine, as well as hydraulic actuators that tilt the four wheels out and up, forming a configuration something like a jet-powered quadcopter.
The project has been developed in conjunction with Jetcat, the German company that makes the jet turbines used by “Jetman” Yves Rossi, as well as the NASA/Skunk Works X-56A experimental aircraft, among others.
Two extra jets can be added near the middle of the chassis to handle more weight, although it is capable of a 1-ton load already so that is probably unnecessary. The entire bike weighs just 140 kg (308 lb) and makes some 240 kg (529 lb) of thrust in flight mode, the equivalent of about 1300 hp of power. Most importantly, each wheel is equipped with a quick opening parachute… just in case.
La Moto Volante joins Jetpack Aviation’s Speeder as the only two jet-powered flying motorcycle concepts to make headlines as of yet. However, the Speeder is much more of a single-purpose vehicle without any road capability, meaning it can’t be driven on the road. The Speeder most likely flies much better but Lazareth has a full-size prototype in the air that’s also road-certified which is extremely impressive!
Ludovic Lazareth has entered the French into the history books with the Moto Volante by becoming the first manufacturer in the world to create a truly flying motorcycle. At the moment, the prototype hovers only one meter above the ground and its range is just over ten minutes. But Ludovic Lazareth is confident saying, “starting from nothing, we achieved this result in a few months.”
The Lazareth team will be bringing the Moto Volante to Gitex in Dubai this October. They plan to launch pre-orders there at a price of €496,000 (approx. US$560,000).