Two scientists at the National Central University in Taiwan have invented a motorcycle that can run on compressed air.
The prototype air-powered bike built by Yu-Ta Shen and Yean-Ren Hwang can run with a single rider for about a kilometre before having to take a breather. That’s because it can only carry about 10 litres of air, which is expended as the motorcycle operates.
The two researchers say it might be possible to extend the range to 30 kilometres with further work on the system, but others are not convinced that motorcycles are good vehicles for air-power, since the amount of propellant they can carry is limited.
The Taiwan air-bike is not the first, however. A British inventor, Jem Stansfield, converted a Puch moped to air power in April, using small, high-pressure air cylinders developed for fire fighters. Air released from the cylinders drives two rotary air engines, which drive the chain. The air Puch could hit nearly 30 kmh and run for about 11 km before needing a refueling, which can be done quickly from scuba or other larger air tanks.