Frequently Asked Questions
We know you have questions. But don't worry - we have answers!
- Is this a joke?
- Can I have a ride in it?
- When can I buy one?
- How are you paying for this?
- Why did you build it?
- Why doesn't it fly higher in the video?
- How long can it fly?
- How much does it weigh?
- How high can it fly?
- How much can it lift?
- How long did it take to build?
- How many times have you flown it?
- When was Flyt™ founded?
- Are you operating in ground effect?
- Is it safe?
- What if a propeller stops? Would I die?
Have another question you'd like answered? Submit your question here: firstname.lastname@example.org
1) Is this a joke? Nope, this isn't a joke. We're 100% serious about what we do and have conducted hundreds of test flights! Besides, if this had been a joke don't you think we would have made it look better?
2) Can I have a ride in it? Sorry, but no. First of all, we care about your safety (and our liability), and giving rides to random people isn't quite safe enough yet. Second, everyone asks and it wouldn't be fair to all those we've said no to.
3) When can I buy one? Sadly, it'll still be a while. Although the current FlytCycle flies great, we still have another year or so of work before we'd even think about selling you one. After all, we want to make sure it's 100% ready, don't you?
4) How are you paying for this? We're currently self-funded but are open to discussions with potential investors. Let us know here if you think you might like to invest.
5) Why did you build it? Simple - I believe that personal flying machines are the future and want to be a part of that.
6) Why doesn't it fly higher in the video? Safety. We could fly higher if we wanted (and we've flown it higher when its unmanned), but without hundreds upon hundreds of hours of testing it would be irresponsible to fly a person higher than 5 feet off the ground. That's the height we determined we could fly at, and if something went wrong and we had to use the emergency kill switch the pilot wouldn't be seriously injured from the fall (the propellers still produce thrust for a second or two after the power is cut). In short, it wouldn't be safe to fly this any higher with a person in it (at the moment). Don't worry though, it can fly much higher than we showed you! See our safety section to learn more.
7) How long can it fly? Right now we get 10-15 minutes per set of batteries with a normal person in it. We expect this to get a lot better with our next version by cutting weight and improving efficiency in a lot of areas though! We're also exploring an on-board range extender to bring flight time to over an hour.
8) How much does it weigh? The short answer is the FlytCycle weighs around 165lbs empty, plus another ~130lbs of batteries, in addition to the pilot.
9) How high can it fly? In theory, it can fly many thousands of feet high. Once you can fly a few feet off the ground, there's no reason you can't go higher as long as you have the power (for those of you know know aeronautics, it operates outside of ground effect after about a foot). Still, for safety and regulatory reasons it's going to be a long time until you can fly at 10,000 feet (3,300m) in one of these.
10) How much can it lift? So far the heaviest person we've flown the FlytCycle with weighed 230 lbs. We expect our next version to be able to safely fly a 250lbs person, possibly a bit more. One of our previous projects, the Flyt 16, could theoretically lift up to ~350lbs safely
11) How long did it take to build? Surprisingly, the current version of the FlytCycle you see was built in less than 3 weeks! We first built all structural components and verified everything was working correctly, ran a few test flights, then took everything off and painted it, added the carbon fiber panels, and put it all back together.
12) How many times have you flown it? We've flown the FlytCycle for hundreds of flights at this point (we stopped counting). We've also conducted hundreds more test flights on previous prototypes and projects, so we're pretty experienced at this point!
13) When was Flyt™ founded? The guy who started Flyt™ began tinkering and building prototypes in a garage in 2013, so that's pretty much what we consider out 'founding' date. Check out our History section if you'd like to read more about it.
14) Are you operating in ground effect? No, we're not. Well, at least once we're more than a foot off the ground. If you're not familiar with the 'ground effect', when you have propellers close to the ground the air you're pushing forms a high-pressure pocket of air that increases your propeller efficiency. Basically you're cheating by riding a cushion of air and getting extra lift. The FlytCycle operates outside of ground effect once it's 1-2 feet off the ground, but you can also see in our videos where we're flying 5-6 feet up, which is well outside ground effect. Still, we usually stay more like 1-3 feet off the ground for safety just in case something goes wrong.
We've noticed that some other groups who have tried similar or adjacent concepts only demonstrate their prototypes with the propellers mounted close to the ground where they are likely operating in ground effect. Don't get us wrong - theirs would probably still work (we did the math) and we encourage anyone who's working on cool projects, but ours definitely still works hundreds or thousands of feet in their air. Seriously - we love anyone else as crazy as us!
15) Is it safe? The basic technology is extremely safe, but the FlytCycle™? It's safe enough for our current testing, but not enough for public areas. Surprised by this answer? We're not going to lie and tell you this is the best thing ever. In its current form it's not safe enough because we haven't proven it safe yet, and some of the components we're using simply aren't rated for long-term use. Still, we've never had anyone be injured during testing so clearly it's safe enough for the momoent. Learn more about our safety efforts here.
16) What if a propeller stops? Would I die? No. In fact, we've even had a motor fail during a test before and we didn't even notice! One of the great things about multirotor vehicles like this is their redundancy, so if you lose one propeller you can keep right on flying. The FlytCycle™ has an incredible amount of redundancy built in, can still fly with at least 2 propellers stopped, and possibly more depending on which ones they are. That's one of the reasons we think multirotors are the future.