The Paravelo promises to revolutionize the way we travel for work, play and adventure. Ride. Fly. Camp. You choose. Read more
This project's funding goal was not reached on August 15, 2013.
About this project
The XploreAir Paravelo is the world's first flying bicycle; a conventional two-wheeled bike that transforms into an easy-to-operate aircraft requiring no licence to fly and capable of altitudes of up to 4,000ft.
We've spent two years developing an advanced prototype and testing it on the ground and in the air. We need £50,000 to finalize the design so you can buy it off the shelf.
Even by making a pledge of £1 you'll be playing your part in bringing this exciting project to life.
Takes off from any open space and reaches 4,000ft
Travels at 15mph on land and 25mph in the air
Pioneering ‘door-to-door’ concept - a roadable aircraft that packs down to store inside your house or office
Features a built-in tent for flamping (fly/camping)
Heralds an era of safe, practical and affordable personal flight
This is a brand new type of ultra-light aircraft – the combination of a para wing and conventional bicycle we call paravelo.
The paravelo is aimed at those who have a thirst for adventure, but are without, perhaps, the storage space or bank balance to accommodate a helicopter.
As well suited to someone living in London as Mojave, we believe the paravelo can transform the way we travel for work, leisure and adventure.
How does it work?
At the heart of the design is a bicycle that tows a lightweight trailer carrying a powerful fan.
The lightweight design folds to a size small enough to carry into a house or apartment for storage.
In order to fly, the bike docks with its trailer, a flexible wing is unfurled and an electric starter motor fires up the biofuel-powered fan.
Once airborne, the paravelo flies at speeds of 25mph for up to three hours at a time. It can take-off from any open ground clear of obstructions – a football pitch-sized area is ideal.
One vehicle - 4 ways to use it
Use the bicycle on its own as you would any other bike. Fold it up to store or carry on the bus, train or metro.
Hitch the air frame trailer to the bike and you're ready for expedition, flight and adventure. Designed to carry the powerful motor, the air frame trailer also houses the wing, fuel and any additional supplies you'll need.
The bike docks with its air frame trailer to form a para-trike configuration for optimum expedition autonomy. In this set-up you can carry all the equipment you need to ride, fly and camp.
Alternatively, detach the bike and air frame trailer and wear the powerful fan on your back for a foot launch. This set-up gives improved performance in the air and allows for take off in higher and changeable wind conditions. In most territories, no licence required to fly in this configuration.
Use the optional tent to fly / camp - we call it flamping. Ride your bike out of the city, fly, pitch your tent. Detach the bike to explore or fetch supplies.
Ride Fly Camp
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
Inspired by our own love of life under canvas, we're developing a tent designed specifically for the paravelo. Every camping trip is special, but the freedom to cycle out of town, take to the skies, and sleep out before finally returning home opens a world of possibilities.
So, help us christen the pursuit of flamping (flying and camping)
Carried inside an integral pannier set, our lightweight XploreAir tent will use the motor cage as a structural element to keep you and your kit dry until you take to the sky again. The tent design includes a separation panel between the sleeping space and the trailer/bike compartment.
Owning a flying bicycle
"Because in the end, you won't remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain."
- Jack Kerouac
The purchase and running costs of the paravelo are comparable with a small family car and no other aircraft offers such flexibility for city dwellers; the bicycle is small enough to be taken on the metro and the entire vehicle can carried up stairs to be stored in the hallway of a flat.
As well as city commuters looking for weekend adventure, the flying bicycle has application as a highly autonomous and cost-effective aerial reconnaissance vehicle for forest rangers and border patrols etc.
We live in Kingston-upon-Thames, on the outskirts of London, two minutes’ walk from the birthplace of the Sopwith Aviation Company - a British aircraft company that built aircraft including the Sopwith Camel for the Royal Air Force in WW1.
We spent our childhoods riding bikes and dreaming of flight.
Enchanted by the connection between cycling and the birth of powered flight - the Wright brothers were former bicycle mechanics - we designed the paravelo to recapture that pioneering era.
We formed XploreAir to give birth to the paravelo and other equally-unusual projects planned for the future. As a project backer you'll get to know us better through regular updates and sneak previews.
Parajet Volution paramotor
3 hours autonomy
25mph (air) 15mph (ground)
GPS tracker plots the bike's movements on the ground and in the air
NIteFire strobe handlebars
Designed and built in Britain
What's the funding for?
We've spent the last two years developing the flying bicycle concept to an advanced stage. The internet is awash with personal flying machines that are little more than vaporware. With your support we can make practical and affordable personal flight a reality.
We've demonstrated our design performs well, but we need to transform our flying prototype into an aircraft rugged enough for expedition duty. Only once we're satisfied it's tough enough and following further rigorous testing will it go on sale.
Another aspect of the project is the development of an integral pannier system. Working with lightweight, high-performance fabrics we aim to create luggage that contains an XploreAir tent, cooking equipment and pop-up fuel can; all basic requirements for your expedition.
If you want to celebrate the bicycle. If you want to explore, dream, discover. Back this project and join the adventure.
NightFire strobe handlebars
We developed the NightFire strobe handlebars specifically for the paravelo, but they look awesome on a regular bike, too. The powerful xenon gas strobes are visible at 2 miles and a magnetic switch means they withstand extreme weather. Not available outside Kickstarter, this is a unique opportunity to buy these bars for your bike. Supplied for either a 1¼" (31.8mm) or 1" (25.4mm) handlebar clamp, they look sweet with a single-speed, coaster brake set-up, but please note that they’re not compatible with all brake levers and gear shifters.
Milestones in our story...
This project has been made possible with the help and friendship of many people along the way, but we are particularly grateful for the guidance and engineering mastery of Parajet, the expertise in cycling from the Environmental Transport Association and the advice of branding supremos Fourmation.
I would like to dedicate my part in this project to my father, who died on 22 June 2013. He was never able to see the paravelo fly, but I know it would have enchanted him and made him very proud. Yannick.
Nicholas Robert Read 11 March 1943 - 22 June 2013
Risks and challenges
We've spent the last two years developing the paravelo concept to an advanced stage. It flies and works well in every respect, but every element of the design now needs refinement so that it's rugged enough for your next expedition.
We are lucky to have been helped throughout the project by Parajet, a company with unrivalled expertise and ideally placed to be our manufacturing partner once the final development and testing phase is complete.
We are confident that with your support we can complete this project and turn it into product you can buy off the shelf.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
Pilot officer level: Postcard. An exclusive memento of this new era in British design! Receive a postcard of the paravelo individually hand signed by us, its designers.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Flying officer level: Tea mug. Like many of the most significant innovations in British history, the development of the paravelo was fuelled by a near-constant supply of tea. Printed with the words ‘My other bicycle’s a flying bicycle’ and the XploreAir logo, the mug will power your own creative projects through the wonder of caffeine. Cheers!Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Flight Lieutenant level: Baseball cap. Every expedition needs a mission cap, and you’ll also receive the mug and postcard rewards as described above (plus our undying gratitude).Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Squadron Leader level: T-shirt. By pledging to support the paravelo, you've proved you're ahead of the curve technology-wise. But what about sartorially? Worry no more about what to wear on a flamping weekend; pledge £40 and receive a high-quality, silk screen-printed T-shirt (available in white or grey).Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Wing Commander level: 3D blueprint.
Stunning A4-sized acid-etched nickel silver plate blueprint of the paravelo. The metal blueprint transforms easily into a pop-up 3D model of the flying bike, or can be kept flat as an eye-catching decorative item. Each metal plate is hand signed by the flying bicycle's designers. PLUS your name on our website as a pioneer supporterEstimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Group Captain level: Poster-sized 3D blueprint. Stunning A3-sized acid-etched brass plate blueprint of the paravelo. The metal blueprint transforms easily into a pop-up 3D model of the flying bike, or can be kept flat as an eye-catching decorative item. Each metal plate is hand signed by the flying bicycle's designers. PLUS your name on our website as a pioneer supporterEstimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Air Commodore level: Engraved air frame. Be forever a part of this remarkable journey by having your name, or comany name, engraved on the air frame of the paravelo X1 flying prototype as pictured in our pitch. In 100 years, when flying bicycles are ubiquitous and the paravelo X1 - the original flying bicycle - is in a museum display case, folk will surely gather to speak in awed tones of the generous souls whose support made possible a revolution in personal aviation! PLUS you receive the A4-sized acid-etched nickel silver blueprint/pop-up 3D model of the paravelo. PLUS your name listed on our website as a principal pioneer supporter.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Air Vice Marshall level: NightFire handlebars. Receive a set of original NightFire strobe handlebars for your own bicycle and stand out from the crowd (be it in air or road traffic!). As a thank you for pledging £500, we will build you your own personal pre-production NightFire handlebars as featured on the paravelo. These are designed and built by us and not available anywhere else. More details about this original invention are included in the main pitch.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
1 backer Limited (9 left of 10)
Air Marshall level: Learn to fly! Spend a week in glorious Spain with us receiving professional flight tuition, accommodation, food PLUS lots of talk in the evenings about aircraft, cycling, motorbikes, jet skis etc thrown in. NO previous flying required. You will receive 5 days' tuition learning to paraglide before progressing to foot-launched paramotor flight. Capable students can in that time achieve a BHPA Club Pilot Power rating which gets you to cross-country flying standard. Insurance and flights to Spain not included.Estimated delivery:
0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)
Air Chief Marshall level: Limited edition bicycle (non-flying) based closely on the model developed for the paravelo X1 prototype. Hand-polished aluminium frame, engraved and numbered frame plate, Nightfire handlebars and display stand PLUS the A3 brass blueprint/pop-up 3D model PLUS the option to buy one of the first five paravelos to come off the production line. PLUS your name on our website as a major supporterEstimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
- (60 days)