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Subaru Designs a Flying Motorcycle with Wings and Everything

Many years ago when we were kids, many of us imagined 2020 as the year when cars were able to fly and teleportation was a common thing.
Subaru flying motorcycle 4 photos
Subaru flying motorcycleSubaru flying motorcycleSubaru flying motorcycle
Well, if it’s not obvious already, 2020 had completely different plans for us, and as it turns out, 2021 is no different, though this doesn’t stop us and the companies out there from dreaming about a high-tech future where means of transportation would be completely different.

Subaru appears to be one of these companies, as the Japanese carmaker has recently come up with an idea that may sound unexpected at first but which more and more industry giants are exploring.

As discovered recently, Subaru has filed a patent for what it describes as a “land-and-air vehicle,” which is essentially a flying motorcycle that comes with all the features you’d normally expect from a conventional bike, but which can transform into a VTOL with the press of a button.

Here’s how Subaru says the whole thing would work.

The motorcycle comes with wings that are folded on its two sides, so when traveling on the ground, you can barely see them. But when entering the flying mode, the wings unfold, and the propellers installed on them move to a takeoff position facing the ground.

This allows the Subaru flying machine to lift off vertically just like a typical VTOL, and when in the air, the vehicle then rotates its wings to move the propellers for a conventional airplane approach.

But as compared to VTOLs, which mostly rely on electric power, Subaru says its flying motorcycle would use a standard gasoline engine, and this makes sense at some level, as the vehicle could therefore operate in both modes without any impact on autonomy. The flying controls would be integrated into the motorcycle dash as well.

The controller is configured to control, on the basis of an operation performed on the operation unit by an operator, a behavior of the land-and-air vehicle during the ground traveling and during the flight. The operation unit includes a handle and a step. The handle of the operation unit includes a throttle unit. The controller is configured to control, both during the ground traveling and during the flight, yawing of the land-and-air vehicle in response to an operation performed on the handle, and to control thrust for the land-and-air vehicle during the flight in response to an operation performed on the throttle unit,” the abstraction section of the patent reads.

Of course, it’s important to keep in mind this is just a patent for the time being, so you’d better not hold your breath for anything like this to enter mass production too soon.


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