The future of flying motorcycles is still up in the air after a French company, Lazareth, unveiled their jet-powered motorcycle which failed to take off at the launch party. French motorcycle designer Ludovic Lazareth has converted his LM496 Maserati V8-powered four-wheel leaning motorcycle into a potential flying version with jet turbines in the wheels. In December, Lazareth posted this teaser video with promises the LM496 would be unveiled this year. Lazareth fails to rise However, at the opening ceremony, Lazareth failed to rise, unlike Lazarus! It only managed to get the front a few centimetres in the air. The LM496 or “La Moto Volante” (the Flying Motorcycle) is based on Ludovic’s Lazareth LM847 with a 350kW, 4.7-litre Maserati V8. It was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2016. Its wheels rotate outwards when the bike is on its centre stand and then pivot so that they are horizontal. Turbine jets Then German Jetcat turbines in each wheel fire directly downward to elevate the bike, like a Harrier Jump Jet or a manned drone. Note that at the launch party, the rider/pilot was tethered in case it took off and he couldn’t control it! There is no word from Ludovic on when the project will “get off the ground”, how high it will fly or how much it will cost.See alsoMotorbike newsNewsWitty travel memoir on a clapped-out motorbike However, with a Maserati engine fitted, as well as four jet turbines, it is bound to cost a fortune. It’s not that this will be the first flying motorcycle nor the first commercially available. ‘Pigs’ might fly Scorpion hoverbike In fact, Dubai police will soon be using drone motorcycles, or hover bikes or quadcopters, to patrol city streets. The Russian Hoversurf Scorpion hover bikes are now available for sale at $US150,000 (about $A212,500), which is nearly twice the price of the MV Agusta limited-edition Claudio F4.