Can The Hoverbike Become Reality?

Malloy Aeronautics has successfully tested their proof-of-concept drone-sized quadcopter, and it is now hoped that in the very near f...

Malloy Aeronautics has successfully tested their proof-of-concept drone-sized quadcopter, and it is now hoped that in the very near future a full-sized version capable of being piloted by a human will be unveiled.

The original design was for a twin-rotor but stability issues meant that the engineering team opted for a four-rotor layout with a solo passenger sitting in the middle like on a motorbike. The Hoverbike is very much the brain child of Chris Malloy who said he has been dreaming of this ever since he started to fly helicopters.

"The helicopter as a design has a lot of improvements that need to be made, and one of them is safety and reliability," said Malloy. "They're very complex machines, and my goal was to see where we could strip away the complexity and increase the safety, and that's basically where the hover bike came from."

Chris Malloy, who is originally from New Zealand, has been developing the design with a team of engineers in Britain, but the design is very much reminiscent of a Star Wars Speeder as ridden by Federation Stormtroopers. The success of the test means that Malloy Aeronautics will now move onto a full-blown manned version of the quadcopter. 

Malloy Aeronautics likens the Hoverbike to a helicopter. "It takes off like a helicopter, it flies and lands like a helicopter. The helicopter is inherently complex; the hover bike is very simple," said Malloy. "So, from a complexity issue the hover bike is safer. And it's built to be robust and flown in environments that a typical helicopter would have trouble with."

He continued, “The advantage that the Hoverbike has over helicopters is that it can fly amongst trees safely. Rotor-strike is a major issue with helicopters, but this design eliminates rotor-strike by protecting the propeller blades from the ground as well as from airborne obstacles. The helicopter is inherently complex, but the Hoverbike is simple so that makes it safer. And it’s built to be robust and be flown in environments that would present problems to a typical helicopter.”

The team at Malloy said the Hoverbike will be low cost, and that its size will make it a practical option for farmers, for search and rescue teams, for emergency services like ambulances, and loading cargo into confined spaces. It is not clear yet if you will need a pilot’s license to drive the thing but the plan seems to be to produce a vehicle that can go up to 9000ft, so maybe you will; and perhaps take a parachute along with you, eh? 



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