Basically, all open-rotor craft are unstable, finicky beasts that require a lot of skill to pilot. This is why you can’t just point a helicopter in the direction you want to go — there are all sorts of different forces at play that need to be controlled and counteracted at the same time, thus the helicopter’s massively complex controls. Merely leaning left or right, like on a motorcycle, isn’t enough — unless you have some clever technology that helps keep the hoverbike stable.
Aerofex says it’s solved the coupling problem, has filed the relevant patents, and thus — if all goes well — the Aero-X will be the first safe and easy-to-use hoverbike on the market.
In January 2012, Aerofex presented its recent work at the American Helicopter Society Future Vertical Lift Conference in San Francisco. The technology discussed utilizes ejector dynamics to augment the thrust and control of ducted-fan aircraft. The goal of the effort is to simplify vertical flight, in this case by eliminating the complexity of cyclically-variable rotors.
It will fly up to 10 feet off the ground at 45 miles per hour. It’s a hovercraft that rides like a motorcycle – an off road vehicle that gets you off the ground.
The Aero-X can be adapted for unlimited outdoor uses: surveying, search and rescue, border patrol, disaster relief, aerial agricultural, ranching, and much more.
* Intuitive pilot interface
* Fixed-pitch carbon fiber fans
* Four-wheel gear with castoring aft wheels
* Two-position control bars
* Carbon fiber composite primary structure
* Normally aspirated three–rotor rotary engine
* Direct drive composite driveshafts
* Oil-cooled gearboxes
* Vertical take-offs and landings without runways or forward speed
* Ducts shroud rotating fans from ground personnel and obstacles
* 3:2 engine redundancy
* Powertrain monitoring system
* Redundant control system
* Roll bar
* Whole vehicle airbags (optional)
* Floatation pontoons for water operations (optional)
* DOT approved transport trailer (optional)
Star Wars had Speeder Bikes in the Battle of Endor
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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