Whether by gliding or strapping on a jetpack, flying like Superman is awesome. Throwing up from your stomach turning because of the dizzying heights — not so awesome. The StreetFlyer makes for a less-satisfying, but workable compromise.
Created by Dr. Carsten Mehring, this flying machine is actually a wheeled contraption that’s probably best described as a trike without pedals. I know, that sounds silly but I bet its still fun. Since there’s no motor installed, you set the “vehicle” in motion by running. Once you’ve gained some momentum (preferably on a downhill path), you can then hook your legs to a bar in front of the rear wheel, getting yourself in a “hang-gliding position.” Voila, you’re flying.
The StreetFlyer features a tripod dome-like carbon fiber frame attached to three wheels. A harness where you can strap yourself is anchored at the center of the frame, allowing you to stretch out in a prone position for flying three feet above the ground.
Steering is accomplished using a mechanism based on bicycles, except the handlebar is extended between the two front wheels. According to Carsten, they’re currently developing a version of the steering that’s a lot closer to those found on hang-gliding setups, which should feel more natural to the prone position.
A potential commercial version of the StreetFlyer is reportedly in the works. Called Moeve (German for Seagull), the vehicle will follow the same concept, albeit in a bigger, heavier and, likely, safer form. If they can throw in an electric motor (so I can be in perpetual “flight” mode), this thing looks like a seriously awesome recreational ride.