Based in China, Zhao Deli has created an electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) flying hoverbike, called the Magic Cloud. From when he was young, Zhao always liked electronics, science and had the dream to fly. In 2008, Zhao by chance, saw a group of people flying remote-controlled model aircraft which sparked his interest in flying again. He began to work on, study and learn to make model aircraft, including drones and helicopters and learned how to make them fly.
After making electric drones for several years (including a hybrid-electric drone), Zhao started his own company in 2010 to sell drones. The company created five different drone models to manufacture and sell. Then around 2016, Zhao read about a hover surfboard from Canada, this information was the catalyst to for him to begin building an eVTOL hoverbike for one passenger.
He started out funding himself with his own money, by selling his home and borrowing money from friends. He has now attracted investors to keep his research going. After his drone company went bankrupt, Zhao Deli attracted an investment of $2.8 million (USD), all from Chinese venture capitalists.
The eVTOL hoverbike is named Jin Dou Yun or Magical Cloud, in honor of the mythical Chinese superhero Monkey King’s Somersault Cloud. A cloud that the fictional character uses to travel in the sky. Deli began to design his own eVTOL hoverbike with a motorcycle type seat, eight propellers, eight electric motors with fixed skid type landing gear.
The all-electric hoverbike has a cruise speed of 44 mph (71 km/h), a flight time of 30 minutes and can fly has high as 9,843 feet (3,000 meters). However, the hoverbike would typically be used for low altitude flight. The aircraft has a maximum payload weight of 220 lbs (100 kg) and a maximum takeoff weight of 564 lb (256 kg) and uses lithium-ion batteries for its power source.
He tested the flying bike remotely 1,559 times before flying it himself. On July 23, 2018 on the 1,560 flight test, Zhao flew the hoverbike successfully in Tangxia Town, Dongguan City, China (south of Guangdong Province).
Early estimates of the price of the production model are in the range of $5,500.00 and $7,200.00 USD; however, the goal was to start serial production in 2019 but there is no word that this has taken place. Zhao believes the crewed hoverbike can be an effective solution to ease traffic congestion, as well as for use by fire departments and the police.
- Aircraft type: eVTOL hoverbike
- Piloting: 1 person
- Cruise speed: 44 mph (72 km/h)
- Range: Unknown
- Flight time: 30 minutes
- Cruise altitude: 10-15 feet (3-4.5 meters)
- Propellers: 8 propellers
- Electric Motors: 8 electric motors
- Maximum takeoff weight: 564 lb (256 kg)
- Payload weight: 110-220 lb (50-100 kg)
- Power source: Lithium-ion batteries
- Fuselage: Light weight material
- Landing gear: Fixed skid type landing gear
- Safety Features: Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP), provides safety through redundancy for its passengers and/or cargo. DEP means having multiple propellers and motors on the aircraft so if one or more motors or propellers fail, the other working motors and propellers can safely land the aircraft.
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