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Dubai Police start training on flying motorbikes

The flying motorbike is back in Dubai -- and you could see the police riding one in the not-too-distant futu...

Posted: Nov 8, 2018 11:14 AM
Updated: Nov 8, 2018 11:14 AM

The flying motorbike is back in Dubai -- and you could see the police riding one in the not-too-distant future.

A year after California-based startup Hoversurf showcased its hoverbike at tech expo GITEX in the white and green livery of the Dubai Police, the company has returned with a new model and evidence its electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicle might be, well, taking off.

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Making good on a deal signed in 2017, Hoversurf has now gifted Dubai Police its first serial production unit of the S3 2019 Hoverbike and has begun training officers to fly it.

Brigadier Khalid Nasser Alrazooqi, general director of Dubai Police's artificial intelligence department, described the eVTOL vehicle as a first responder unit used to access hard to reach areas. He said he aims to have hoverbikes in action by 2020.

"Currently we have two crews already training (to pilot the hoverbike) and we're increasing the number," he told CNN. Hoversurf chief operating officer Joseph Segura-Conn explained that ideal candidates will be able to ride a motorcycle and have drone operating experiences. Video of one officer learning to pilot the hoverbike appeared online last month.

Segura-Conn said Dubai Police have exclusive rights to order as many units as they want: "They're going to let us know in the next month or two if they'd like any more ... If they would like 30 or 40, we'll make it happen for them."

If you're not a member of the force and have a spare $150,000, the hoverbike could still be yours. Orders are open to civilians, but Segura-Conn cautions that buyers are screened to ensure they can handle the new tech. In the US, the hoverbike has met Federal Aviation Administration guidelines which mean you do not need a pilot's license to fly the vehicle.

Tim Robinson, editor-in-chief of Aerospace magazine, described the vehicle as "pretty limited" when it came to potential police work, but did not pour cold water on the hoverbike, adding it "looks bags of fun."

He explained that eVTOLs are limited by current battery technology, but said advances -- particularly in battery energy density, and introducing new materials like graphene -- could increase flight times in the future.

Both Hoversurf and Dubai Police said they were working towards this aim, either through battery technology or more efficient propulsion systems. Hoversurf has already developed a ducted fan system it claims is smaller, quieter, safer and more efficient than a propeller with the equivalent thrust, that it plans to add to future models.

A manufacturing site for the S3 2019 is yet to be confirmed, but Segura-Conn said Hoversurf is in talks "with three companies in different locations around the world" -- Dubai being one location.

The S3 2019 joins an ever-growing crowd of eVTOL aircraft in various stages of completion. Earlier this year CNN took a ride in the Flyer by Kitty Hawk, another personal eVTOL aircraft that has jumped from rendering to reality. Hoversurf also has a bigger, two-seater flying car it plans to showcase in "four to five months" and sell in 2020, said Segura-Conn.

Robinson estimated over 100 eVTOL or flying car projects have already been announced. He compared this period of frenzied activity and pioneering spirit to the early days of powered flight.

"There's lots of different configurations: people with external rotors, ducted fans, wings, no wings, tilt wings, tilt rotors," he said. "No one knows exactly how it's going to pan out or who is going to be successful."

"I think it's a very exciting time -- (a) great time -- for innovations in the aerospace industry."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 482902

Reported Deaths: 9425
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison33063488
Hinds31021589
DeSoto30610358
Jackson23687348
Rankin21340370
Lee14909220
Madison14166271
Jones13404227
Forrest13160240
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Lowndes10443176
Lamar10214130
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Hancock7514112
Washington7102150
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Monroe6514164
Neshoba6475201
Warren6464164
Pontotoc630393
Panola6250126
Marshall6126123
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Union574186
Pike5613136
Alcorn537290
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George471472
Scott459196
Leflore4476140
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Tate4394101
Simpson4335112
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Clay296473
Chickasaw287065
Clarke282190
Calhoun266141
Holmes262187
Smith250649
Yalobusha221047
Tallahatchie220450
Walthall211058
Greene209045
Lawrence206833
Perry199953
Amite198452
Webster196542
Noxubee178939
Montgomery172454
Jefferson Davis168342
Carroll162137
Tunica153334
Benton142535
Kemper138640
Choctaw127026
Claiborne126834
Humphreys126637
Franklin116728
Quitman103926
Wilkinson101936
Jefferson91333
Sharkey63020
Issaquena1926
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 789054

Reported Deaths: 14022
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1115991765
Mobile708511234
Madison49865633
Shelby36274315
Baldwin36242495
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Montgomery33190678
Lee22680220
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Morgan19816335
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Elmore14480264
Lauderdale13520281
Talladega12958236
DeKalb12199237
Walker10588330
Blount9720157
Autauga9667137
Jackson9385158
Coffee8882175
Dale8609173
Colbert8534184
Tallapoosa6673181
Escambia6591121
Covington6452167
Chilton6385144
Russell607255
Franklin5795101
Chambers5416134
Marion4800120
Dallas4705189
Clarke463279
Pike462397
Geneva4413117
Winston425895
Lawrence4117108
Bibb409381
Barbour347270
Marengo326285
Monroe320053
Butler318290
Randolph305956
Pickens305274
Henry301858
Hale292685
Cherokee289855
Fayette279673
Washington245448
Crenshaw238470
Cleburne235851
Clay228565
Macon220158
Lamar197743
Conecuh182046
Lowndes170758
Coosa170235
Wilcox159736
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Perry136537
Sumter124536
Greene121443
Choctaw73427
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