Newton Falls man invents flying electric bike
Electric bikes have become more and more popular over the years, but a Newton Falls man is taking that concept to new heights - literally!
"There is nothing like that feeling when you break free from the ground," says Kurt Fister. "You feel yourself leaving Earth and it's the most incredible feeling of freedom you could ever have."
Kurt Fister has invented the first ever flying electric bike.
"It's never been done," Fister said. "Nobody else has it, we got it."
Fister is a pilot, skydiver, inventor and nationally renowned instructor in the sport of powered paragliding.
"I fell in love with the sport," Fister said. "I was the first instructor to teach that in the United States. I am at a world record in number of students at 1,555 which is a world record in aviation. I have a few other world records as well. I was a national skydiver before this with over 4,300 jumps and flight has always been in my dream."
Fister came up with the idea for the flying electric bike as a solution to a common paragliding problem.
"When you land somewhere, how are you going to get back, you had to have a chase vehicle, you had to have somebody bring you fuel or you would have to walk miles because not every gas station has a field by it big enough to land in so we needed some mobility to be able to get around and now we got it," Fister said.
Fire up the motor and you can fly three to four hours on a small tank of gas.
"It's very simple, it's very safe, if the motor quits, you just float down."
Once you land, you can travel up to 25 miles on a single charge.
"You can literally fly from New York or Rhode Island all the way to California," Fister said. "There is really nothing you can't do with it. And now you've got mobility to drive to a motel or just camp out if you like, drive to a campground and KOA it, you know, it's awesome."
It's also completely portable and no tools are required to put it together.
"Everything on there breaks down and folds up in about three minutes and fits in the back of a Prius."
Fister calls it the Flypod E-Bike and it doesn't require a drivers license or pilots license and there is no age limit.
"My youngest student is 11, my oldest is 92," Fister said. "With this aircraft because of its weight, size and it's so small, they can now have the dream of flight for the cost of a motorcycle and they can experience it despite anything that might be an FAA handicap."
Fister also offers lifetime training for it, completely free.
They are ready to fly on the second day of training," Fister said. "They are literally in the air and flying and enjoying flight on the second day and I don't put price tag or a time limit on safety. Sometimes, people don't have the money to do it and I don't want that to be a hinderance to safety. I want them to be properly trained, I want them to know the rules, the weather to fly in, our ground schooling teaches you weather conditions, all the rules you need to follow, maintenance of the equipment and we just have a ball doing it, we just run it like family."
From the streets, to the air, the Flypod E-Bike is taking travel to new heights.
"This is what I dreamed of when I was a kid, something so small, you can literally take off out of your yard," Fister said. "If I want to, with this motor and the wing, I can sometimes get off the ground in 30-40 feet and land and roll off in about 10-15 when I land, so it almost land on a dime. I can get out of a very small area, little soccer fields anywhere in hometown USA. You don't need an airport, you don't need a hangar, you don't need any of that, that's all expense that the big boys play with, with the planes and it's a money pit, but like I said, for the cost of a jet-ski or a motorcycle, half the cost of a Harley Davidson, they own their own aircraft and they get unlimited free training for life."
Fister says orders are already coming in and it is available now.
"It hasn't even got out there yet and you are seeing it for the first time, we're very excited about that to share it with someone local in the birthplace of aviation, Ohio, Amen."
Pricing ranges from $15,000 to $17,000. It is built to your specifications and turn around time is two to three weeks.
To order, call Kurt Fister at 330-554-9194. You can also go to flightjunkies.com to see more.