Three decades after those E.T. kids went airborne on their bicycles, a two-wheeler has gone aloft in the Czech Republic.
Unlike the flying fleet in the Spielberg film, the Czech prototype did not carry a human. Rather, a mannequin mounted the electric vehicle while "pilot" Jan Spatny controlled it remotely from within an empty warehouse where the bike flew briefly, lifted by six propellers aligned parallel to the ground, the UK's The Telegraph reported.
Spatny cautioned that the 95-kilogram (210-pound) contraption is difficult to control.
"It's not as easy as a toy or (remote control) model," he said. "It's quite a complicated thing."
It also has a passenger weight maximum of 161 pounds, and according to the BBC can fly for no more than five minutes.
"The capacity of the batteries is what limits it," said Milan Duchek, technical director of Duratec Bicycles, one of three companies collaborating on the project. "But we can expect that in the future the capacity would be enough for the bike to be used for sports, tourism or similar things."
Or possibly even for escorting space creatures back to their home planet.
See for yourself in this video, but don't forget your helmet:
Video from Telegraph.co.uk via YouTube. Top photo is a screen grab from the video.
More amazing Czech mechanics on SmartPlanet:
This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com