Does travelling on the tube get you down? Got the red bus blues? Train tristesse? If so, take heart. A couple of inventors from Kingston upon Thames have come up with a novel way to reboot your commute: the world’s first flying bike.
Yannick Read and John Foden created the ET-worthy contraption – the Paravelo – as a unique mode of transportation for the modern Londoner which ‘heralds a new era of practical and affordable personal flight’. It’s made up of a collection of awesome elements: a folding bike (practical!), a parachute (amazing!) and a strap-on propeller pack (OMG!). Put all these together and you’ve got a dream machine which can soar at speeds of up to 25mph above the streets of the capital for as much as three hours at a time.
The bike, which comes with GPS and can reach altitudes of 4,000ft, has been designed to be useful for commuters – it folds up so it can be carried on public transport and it’s easy to assemble. And the whole thing costs less than some cars – it’s on the market for £10,000.
Before you get overexcited, however, you should know you can’t just buy a Paravelo on Amazon and zoom away over Peckham. Flying the bike requires a pilot’s licence and, although the prop-pack can be used without one, there’s a bit of regulation limiting jetpacking in London (what?). If you do happen to be a pilot, Read’s warning should keep your feet on the ground: ‘You’d be ill advised to use the Paravelo without getting instruction.’ Flo Wales Bonner
Back the Paravelo by visiting kickstarter.com.