Japanese students succeeded in their flying bicycle test flight

Japanese students succeed in their flying bicycle test flight

/ 10:29 AM June 12, 2024

Have you ever ridden your bike and wished you could soar over traffic jams? That dream is nearing reality since Japanese students created a flying bicycle.

It is a project from Osaka Public University’s student organization, the Sakai Windmill Association. Its members call it the “Tsurugi,” meaning “sword.”

READ: Wheelless bike amazes the internet

They made their first successful test flight at Nanki Shirahama Airport’s retired runway. As a result, these students created an inspiring project.


How does the flying bicycle work?

The flying bicycle has huge wings and a large fan behind it. The latter links to the bike pedals, allowing the rider to spin it as they go.

Despite being pedal-powered, it works like a regular airplane. It has to speed along a long, straight path to gain enough momentum and lift to raise altitude. 

The fan allows the vehicle to raise its altitude and stay there. In February 2024, a YouTube video from the Team Marksmen Network channel shows the momentous test flight.

The clip shows the young pilot rising above the trees while pedaling frantically. Yet, he mentioned in a Super Car Blondie report his “skill was not good at this time.” 


Fusha Sakai and the Sakai Windmill Association are committed to pushing the boundaries of human-powered flight. Their commitment paid off, and people online think so, too.

One person wrote, “outstanding invention,” in the YouTube comments. On the other hand, some pointed out potential problems with the flying bicycle. 


READ: Triangle-Wheeled Bike Goes Viral On YouTube

For example, a critic said, “Imagine you run out of breath whilst pedaling way high up in the air.”

Nevertheless, it is an impressive feat, especially for a group of students. The Yomiuri Television Birdman Rally said the flying bicycle recorded a distance of 19 km or 11 miles.

Is it the world’s first flying bicycle?

This represents a flying bicycle.
Free stock photo from Pexels

The Tsurugi is an impressive flight project from students, but it isn’t the first flying bicycle. HistoryNet reports one of the earliest similar projects dates back to the 1880s.

In 1783, Joseph-Michel and Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier made the world’s first successful test flight of the hot-air balloon. Eventually, the safety bicycle became all the rage, inspiring many to combine the pedaling contraption with the flying machine.

On April 17, 1889, Pennsylvania’s Altoona Times reported the first recorded successful test of a flying bicycle. It refers to the air velocipede or “Sky-Cycle” from Professor Carl Edgar Myers. 

“Prof. Carl Myers has made several satisfactory tests with his new invention, the air velocipede, which will soon be in shape to give public exhibitions of its workings,” the publication said. 

Like the Japanese flying bicycle, a pedal turned a propeller that provided thrust to its wings, lifting the machine into the air. 

READ: Japan to launch flying solar 5G stations in 2025

The Tsurugi may not be the first flying bicycle, but Japan is one of the countries leading in airborne electric vehicles. 

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For example, flying car startup SkyDrive created one of the first-ever flying cars. On March 7, 2024, automobile manufacturer Suzuki reported it had partnered with SkyDrive to start mass production.

TOPICS: flying car, technology
TAGS: flying car, technology

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