Chris Malloy is installing a new computerised control system on his Hoverbike, an aircraft which is ridden like a motorbike but has ducted fans at the front and back instead of wheels. “Originally I wanted the roll to be controlled by the rider shifting their body weight, like a motorbike,” he says, but he has had to revise this design. So far both Trek Aerospace and Mr Malloy have only carried out tethered flight tests, but they believe they can have their vehicles in production within a few years.
Prototypes of the hoverbike can be purchased for $80,000 (Australian dollars)
The bike was built over 2 1/2 years by one person in his car garage after work and studies, and building it is only 10% of the way there. Testing testing and testing needs to be done and we need collective help from you!
If you would like to buy a prototype now, and do your own testing, please feel free to contact us to discuss.
The hoverbike was designed with safety as the over-riding factor in all design. If you have ever flown and pre-flight checked a helicopter you will appreciate the simplicity of this design. With so many parts on a helicopter – and a large number of single parts that could alone cause catastrophic disaster if they should fail – it is just a matter of time. The hoverbike has as many components as possible with triple redundancy which requires at least 2 other components to fail before you might have a serious airborne failure. This combined with a massive reduction in total parts (compared to a helicopter) and the hoverbike becomes safer and cheaper.
Parachutes. With the hoverbike you have the choice to wear an emergency parachute and have two explosive parachutes attached to the airframe, with a helicopter you have no such choice. The hoverbike in it’s current configuration cannot autorotate (with adjustable pitch propellers it can) but this should not be viewed as a discredit to the design. Engine failure in a helicopter or plane by no means assures you that you will survive a autorotation or glide, as air crash statistics show. The option of removing yourself from the vehicle and descending via parachute to the ground may well save your life.
The propeller blades will have on the next revision (and certainly the final product sold) a fine mesh over the entire ducting, which will stop any wandering hands or large debri from entering the duct.
How much will it cost
We are not in the production phase yet, so we cannot give you a finalized price structure, but as a guide, when we can sell at least 100 units a year the cost with current material prices and labor will be $45,000AUD +/-$5000. As with all goods, economy of scale will bring the price down. At 1000 units a year the cost will be similar to a performance motorcycle! (on-going development cost due to testing may vary this a little)
Airspeed Vne – 150 KIAS (untested)
Hover (out of ground effect) – >10,000ft (estimated)
Dry weight – 110kg
Max gross weight – 270kg
Total thrust – 295kg
Engine – 80kw @ 7500rpm
Aerial Cattle mustering
Search and Rescue
Wildlife and Parks
Military and Emergency Services
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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