Dubai Police Will Soon Be Equipped with Genuine Hoverbikes

Monday, 16 October 2017 - 8:12PM
Monday, 16 October 2017 - 8:12PM
Dubai Police Will Soon Be Equipped with Genuine Hoverbikes
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From the looks of things, Dubai is about to blow some tax funds on kitting out their police force with the coolest vehicles imaginable.

While Russian military contractors are hard at work perfecting a version of the Goblin Glider from Spider-Man, and the American military continues to research a design for a hoverbike for troops to ride into battle, the United Arab Emirates is ahead of the pack in getting people up into the air, albeit by cheating a little.

The Dubai Police Force has announced that its officers will soon take to the skies in one-seater hoverbikes that will allow them to speed around the city with increased versatility. These aren't completely original designs - the bikes have been identified as Scorpion 3 models, a type of extreme sports stunt hoverbike that's built by Russian company Hoversurf. It seems that Dubai's police will be using modified versions of these leisure vehicles in order to move more freely around their respective beats.

The bikes are capable of hitting significant heights, although they are presently limited to only traveling five meters (16 feet) up into the air to avoid harm to the driver, and are capable of speeds up to 75km per hour (46mph) with a driver, or 140km per hour (87mph) when operated as drones. It seems that the plan is to use these both as self-driving police vehicles, as well as helping to get police officers to where they need to be in a hurry.

This may prove useful, especially in such a dense city. Presumably, police should be able to fly high enough above cars and pedestrians as to be unencumbered by traffic, although there will no doubt still be issues caused by the copter blades that allow the bike to fly.

The big problem that the force will face is one of battery life. The Scorpion 3 is designed for recreational use rather than a heavy daily grind, and as such, the vehicle only gets around 25 minutes of flight out of a three hour battery charge.

The batteries on the bike can be easily swapped out where necessary, but it does seem as if these hoverbikes will be better used as quick, speedy emergency transport rather than a standard police vehicle that's used for hours at a time. After all, nobody wants to be the cop who has to drag their hoverbike back to the precinct because it ran out of battery part-way through an exciting car chase.

Of course, these hoverbikes with their limited journey potential and relatively low cruising heights, may not necessarily be able to keep up with the evolving traffic within Dubai. The city is also looking forward to a commercial flying taxi service that is currently undergoing testing, which will be far less restricted in terms of altitude, and will prove that some people (generally those with the money to hire a flying car) are very literally above the law.

Still, this is good news for those who hope that hoverbikes will one day become a mundane sight. If Batman Begins has taught us anything, it's that the moment the law enforcement professionals get hold of a funky new technology, it's never long before they wind up in more common use among clowns, penguins, catwomen, and people from pretty much all other walks of life.

So, then, it'll only be a short wait until the hoverbike is more freely available for anyone to cruise around the sky on. Not to be too pessimistic, but now might be a good time to buy shares in a neckbrace company.
Science News