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Flying Motorcycle Set to Ride Into Sky in 2010

A prototype flying motorcycle is scheduled to take its maiden voyage early next year. The Samson Motor Works Switchblade multi-mode vehicle unveiled at the AirVenture air show in July features three wheels, folding wings, two seats, and a 150 horsepower engine that burns unleaded gasoline. However, Samson founder Sam Bousfield says the design of the vehicle has changed since then. “The wing sweep has been brought back another 17 degrees to 107 degrees and the battery is now in the nose, not in the aft of the vehicle,” he says. The vehicle has been advertised as capable of reaching a maximum speed of 255 kilometers per hour and a range of 1,415 kilometers. Standard features of the Switchblade include a Ballistic Recovery Systems parachute, heating and air conditioning, satellite radio, disc brakes with anti-lock braking, and a digital instrument panel that can switch from flight to ground vehicle mode. Samson had hoped to provide a hybrid gasoline/electric engine, but is now opting for existing products such as the Lycoming IO-320, Suzuki Hayabusa, and others.

September 16, 2009

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