Sidecar specialist Ural has just motored into the world of aerial photography with a somewhat quirky addition to its range of bike attachments.
The clue is in the name of its latest offering — Ural Air — and an even bigger hint comes by way of the “DJI” letters plastered on the sidecar. Got it yet?
That’s right, the Ural Air is a quirky design that incorporates a drone launcher within the sidecar, allowing for easy flights whenever the fancy takes you … though you’ll probably be better off parked up than hurtling along at 70 mph when you do it.
With the push of a button, a hatch opens to reveal a DJI Spark drone (no, not a Mavic Air as the name might have you believe) resting snugly inside a specially built compartment designed by 3D-printing specialist Stratasys. The diminutive quadcopter is able to launch straight out of the compartment and, when the mission is over, land on the flat surface of the closed hatch.
Only 40 units of the Ural Air have been produced, which is just as well as we’re not sure there’ll be that many people willing to raid their bank account for the asking price of $18,000, although the included windsock — for determining flying conditions — may well be a dealbreaker for some.
To be fair, that’s only $1,500 more than Ural’s basic Gear Up outfit upon which the Ural Air is based, and with the Spark costing $500, you’ll essentially be forking out an extra $1,000 for the rare sidecar/drone combo.
The company puts it like this: “The inspiration behind this limited edition was to open Ural riders to new experiences, and see their adventures from a different perspective. It also reflects our fascination with blending Ural’s classic design with cutting-edge technologies.”
Today based in Redmond, Washington though with a factory still in Russia, Ural Motorcycles is selling the prospect of adventure with its kit, writing on its website: “What’s over the ridge? What’s just beyond your campsite? What obstacles lie ahead after a big storm? When the trail ends or nightfall is looming, the rider or passenger becomes a pilot, sending out their eye in the sky to determine the best route or quickest escape.” Just make sure you don’t crash it like a fool, or you’ll really be stuck.
Ural has opted to incorporate not DJI’s latest model, but instead its smallest one. The $500 Spark received a decent rating when Digital Trends reviewed it earlier this year, receiving warm praise for its abundance of intelligent flight modes, excellent obstacle avoidance technology, and impressive flight performance.
The Ural Air is available for purchase beginning in November.