First, flying food became a trend. Now, the hot new flying creations are flying bicycles. The latest entry in the wheeled-air-machine category comes from British company XploreAir. It's a bicycle, flying machine, and camping tent all built into one device.
The Paravelo can be taken apart and used as just a bike, or it can docked to its trailer with a flexible wing and biofuel-powered fan. Up in the air, it can go at speeds up to 25 mph for up to 3 hours and reach heights up to 4,000 feet up.
The bike itself is fairly lightweight, though the trailer with the fan adds quite a bit of size to the whole contraption. It all folds down for storage. XploreAir says the purchase and operating costs of the Paravelo will be similar to having a small family car.
XploreAir is currently raising funds on Kickstarter to further develop the project. The biggest problem here is that you can't actually get one of these flying bikes for a pledge.
The best you can hope for is to plop down $7,800 and get a non-flying replica of the bike, along with the option to buy one of the first five Paravelos to come off the production line. For that price, I would hope for at least a hop, skip, and a jump. The Paravelo won't come cheap, but that's not surprising.
If the Paravelo gets off the ground, it could open an interesting new chapter in personal exploration. It's more adventurous than just hopping in your car. What is it with our desire to take earth-bound things and make them fly through the air, preferably with people on board? I guess we're still envious of birds.