Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Die Smiling On This Hoverbike

Die Smiling On This Hoverbike: "

By Duncan Geere, Wired UK

An Australian chap named Chris Malloy has built a hoverbike from motorbike parts, and he claims it can fly at 173 mph at an altitude of 3,000 metres.

Those are theoretical figures for the time being because the contraption hasn’t flown too far yet. Malloy bases those outlandish specs on the 231-pound device’s thrust-to-weight ratio. It consists almost solely of a pair of massive propellers powered by an 1,170cc engine good for 107 horsepower. The fuel tank contains enough juice to give it a range of 92 miles at a cruising speed of 92 mph.

The pilot’s right hand controls the thrust of the rotors, while the left adjusts the angle of the control vanes, pitching the nose down or up to move forward or backward. Turning the handlebars turns the machine.

There isn’t much in the way of safety features with the prototype, but Malloy plans to add a pair of explosive parachutes, or require riders to wear a ‘chute, and cover the props with a mesh to prevent limbs from being lopped off. Malloy also hopes to implement gyroscopic controls with onboard overrides to stop the craft from tipping over.

Anyone, er, brave enough to fly one won’t need a pilot’s license because hoverbike is classified as an ultralight. But it’ll be awhile before you can get one. Test flights haven’t yet happened and while Malloy hopes to get into limited production within a year, he’s still looking for investors to make that a reality.

To that end, he’s soliciting donations on his website.

Photos: Hover-bike.com


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