Normally the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Dick Van Dyke is his awful cockney accent (as Bert the chimney sweeper) in Walt Disney’s 1964 fantasy musical ‘Mary Poppins’. However, this veteran American actor (now aged 93) has had a pretty impressive stage, radio, film and television career spanning several decades. Probably I will always remember him for his mesmerising performance in ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ which is written by Roald Dahl (based on Ian Flemming’s novel) and produced by Albert R. Broccoli (famous for many James Bond films). What captivated me about this film was the notion of a flying car. Fifty years later it looks like this might be a serious possibility.

A couple of years ago I wrote a book (for Schiffer Publishing) entitled ‘Luxury Design for Living’. The overall concept (which I devised) was to feature four chapters about architecture, automobiles, horology and luxury lifestyle. One of the brands I featured was Lazareth who manufacture amazing (V12 powered) carbon fibre quad bikes. Recently they sent me a press release unveiling a new product called the LMV 496, which claims to be a flying motorcycle.

Now at this stage of the review, it’s important to mention this motorcycle won’t transport you from New York to Paris. The flight times range between 8 to 10 minutes of actual flight time, which is nowhere near as impressive as the fictional car used in ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’. However, this isn’t a fantasy and illustrates the major advancements in automotive technology. To elevate this amazing machine, Lazareth has equipped with 6-turbines that can reach a maximum airspeed of 2129km per hour.

Presently the LMV 496 is still only a prototype and is only capable of carrying a 60kg adult. This discounts most people with the exception of maybe ‘Tour de France’ cyclists or jockeys. If the model actually goes into production, Lazareth hopes to vastly improve these parameters to accommodate up to 90kg. Certainly, this type of innovation is a very exciting prospect and the aesthetic of this hybrid flying motorcycle is very futuristic.

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