Look ma, no wheels! The Lazareth Moto Volante prototype hovers 1m off the ground attached to stabilising tethers. Picture: SUPPLIED
Look ma, no wheels! The Lazareth Moto Volante prototype hovers 1m off the ground attached to stabilising tethers. Picture: SUPPLIED

Is it a motorcycle? Is it a helicopter?

Actually, it’s both. 

French custom automotive builder Ludovic Lazareth has conjured up several unusual motorised creations and the Moto Volante flying bike is his latest.

It rides much like a regular motorcycle on the road - except for having four wheels instead of two - but when the rider gets tired of traffic jams the contraption changes, Transformer-like, into a jet-powered quadcopter that soars over the gridlock.

When it's not airborne the Moto Volante transforms into a four-wheeled motorcycle. Picture: SUPPLIED
When it's not airborne the Moto Volante transforms into a four-wheeled motorcycle. Picture: SUPPLIED

After pulling over to the side of the road, the rider presses a button to convert the Moto Volante to fly mode. It takes about a minute for the jets mounted in each wheel hub to warm up. Then the wheels tilt 90° to provide takeoff and gliding thrust. There’s a parachute mounted in each wheel in case of emergencies.

Lazareth expects to launch the Moto Volante later in 2019 at a price of about R8m.  

Whether or not this oddball Jetson-style creation will ever really see production it is a very clever piece of engineering and worth a look. Lazareth has posted a video of the prototype in actio,.  hovering a metre off the ground attached to tethers.