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    The next level in flight, Scorpion-3

    Hoversurf, a Russian company that builds drones, posted a video last week showing off its latest prototype: the Scorpion-3, a single-seat, electric-powered hoverbike that looks cool as hell but probably won’t be ready for the X Games anytime soon.

    The manufacturers say they wanted to combine a motorcycle with quadcopter drone technology to create “an extreme sports instrument.” The electric-borne aircraft is intended for both “amateur and professional navigators,” Hoversurf says. Though don’t expect a motorcycle’s license or even a pilot’s license to authorize you to ride one of these things. The only thing that would, in my opinion, is a willingness to have your legs amputated in the name of extreme sports.

    Hoversurf likened the Scorpion-3 to other untested-but-inarguably-cool-looking passenger-ready prototypes like Malloy, Aeofex, E-volo, and Ehang. The hoverbike uses custom-built software to limit its range and velocity in order to assure a safe ride, the company says. Hoversurf says the Scorpion’s design was “inspired by heavy-duty sport-utility motorbike frames” and “basically surfs through the air by changing altitude and direction.”

    So now that we’re seeing halfway decent hoverbike technology, the question is what’s next? Clearly an ecosystem of engineers and investors with their head in the clouds and money to spend is starting to emerge.

    YouTube sensation and inventor Colin Furze showed off his hoverbike last year, which does legitimately hover for short periods of time. And the US Department of Defense recently announced a deal with Malloy Aeronautics, a UK-based company, to develop the vehicle for the US Army. Dubai’s Road and Transportation Authority struck a deal with Ehang to test its passenger ready drones in the skies over the city later this year.

    And jetpacks and flying cars, too! Everyone from Uber to Airbus is working on a prototype. After a year when the word “hover” was used to describe a surplus of products that did nothing of the sort, there is a handful of companies who are working to make hovering — real hovering — great again.

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