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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 11 December 2018

Russian firm behind Dubai Police Hoverbike unveils five-seater flying taxi

The Formula project looks like it has flown straight from the set of the latest Star Wars film

Hoversruf FORMULA, Courtesy Hoversurf
Hoversruf FORMULA, Courtesy Hoversurf

The Russian makers of the Hoverbike used by Dubai Police - the latest crime fighting vehicle in its fleet - have released details of a new five seater flying taxi that could be taking to the desert skies.

The ATAAS air taxi’s folding wings allows it to be parked in regular parking spaces and could be available as early as 2018.

Manufacturers, Hoversurf, claim the air taxi can comfortably seat five passengers and is carried by 52 miniature turbine Venturi propulsion units.

The drones are being billed as safer than ground transport and will help ease congestion on roads by taking traffic to the skies.

With its folding wings, the Formula project may look like one of Darth Vader’s Star Wars spaceships, but its manufacturers claim it will offer a practical solution to everyday life with a range of 450km.

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“Imagine - you leave the supermarket and go to the parking lot with purchases and children,” promotional material said.

“You do not need to think about convenience - Formula is designed for maximum comfort. “Usual door and interior like a car - everything is in its place.”

In October, Hoversurf launched its Hoverbike concept vehicle at Gitex technology exhibition in Dubai.

Hoversruf FORMULA, Courtesy Hoversurf
Hoversruf Formula, Courtesy Hoversurf

The Hoverbike, combines drone technology with a familiar motorcycle, and can seat a police officer or be controlled remotely and can fly for up to 25 minutes.

Four large propellers flank its corners allowing it to fly at a height of 5 metres if mounted and 6km without a rider.

A global arms race is underway to provide Dubai with its first practical drone suitable for commercial use.

In February, China's Ehang company announce it hoped to have its version of a flying taxi operating by the end of this year.

The Ehang 184 has a top speed of around 100kph and maximum battery powered flying time of around half an hour.

The Hoversurf can seat a police office or be flown remotely. Dubai Police
The Hoversurf can seat a police office or be flown remotely. Dubai Police