MotoPOD LLC has developed a motorcycle loading system for personal airplanes. A patentpending collection of ramps and fixtures allows the pilot to load and secure a street-legal motorcycle while a built-in winch system, powered by a cordless drill, does all the work. After landing, it takes just a few minutes to remove the motorcycle and ride away in James Bond-style.
Why carry a motorcycle? Most of the country’s 5,400 small airports don’t have ground transportation services. That’s a really big problem for personal aviation… or at least it was. By carrying a motorcycle, pilots can enjoy convenient ground transportation at every stop. MotoPOD customers travel more freely, visit new places and explore their destinations.
MotoPOD LLC President, David Shelton, says, “We’re trying to support a paradigm shift and change the way in which people use airplanes. Integrated air + ground transportation achieves more of the utility that we demand from our automobiles and provides more places to go and things to do. What percent of every-day destinations just happen to be fly-in destinations? To a motorcycle pilot, they are ALL “fly-in” destinations.”
Tool or toy? MotoPOD says BOTH. Mike Thornton of Texas, flies his Cherokee 6 for business, landing at small airports to quote jobs. He currently keeps old cars at several airports that he visits frequently, soon to be replaced by his MotoLOAD system. Steve Reed of Wisconsin, is looking forward to “the freedom of flying wherever I wish, whenever I wish, without worrying about ground transportation.”
MotoLOAD is manufactured from welded aluminum tubing and the entire system may be inserted or removed from an airplane in seconds. After loading the motorcycle into a wheeled “sled,” it’s tipped onto one side, then winched into the aircraft cabin. Once inside, additional fixtures guide the motorcycle into position and the entire package is secured with seatbelts.
Products are currently available for the popular Piper PA-32/34 series airplanes and the company has hinted that other models are on the way. It’s designed to haul the MotoCYCLE, a custom aviation motorcycle with folding handlebars, no-spill plumbing and other features. MotoCYCLE is lightweight, street-legal and provides highway performance for two. Complete packages cost less than $15,000; around the average price for a Harley-Davidson. It’s a little quieter in the rumble department but it can do what other motorcycles can’t… fly.
About Motopod LLC
MotoPOD LLC was founded in 2007 to provide pilots with innovative ground transportation solutions. The company has pursued that vision through the integration of airplanes and motorcycles. Their first product, a removable belly pod, allows pilots to carry a motorcycle beneath their airplane. The prototype, which flew in 2008, has been featured in Gizmag, Gizmodo, G4 Television and other mainstream media. The belly pods are also available to carry luggage or surveillance equipment. Products are currently in production for the Van’s RV-10 kit airplane and certified pods are under development for common production airplanes, including the Cirrus SR-20/22.
For more than a century, ground transportation has been a holy grail of aircraft design, inspiring more than 2,000 attempts to develop a practical roadable airplane; an airplane capable of driving on roadways. Motopod has taken a fresh approach, developing practical solutions that lead the market in ground transportation solutions. In 2010, the company was awarded a grant from the Wolf Aviation Fund for their work to advance personal aviation.