So I was just checking the calendar. It seems, by my count, that it has been the year 2015 for 174 days already. Too early in the baseball season for the Cubs to have won the World Series, as was predicted by Marty McFly. So where’s my hoverboard? Thought we’d have those too, here in 2015. Well, never fear – you may get a hoverbike before you get a hoverboard (and possibly before the Cubs win the World Series – although they’re fun to watch this year!)
Earlier this month at the Paris Air Show, the US Army announced a partnership with Malloy Aeronautics to develop a hoverbike for American soldiers. Naturally, I want one.
The project started with Australian Chris Malloy, who began the project – where else – in his garage. He successfully raised $101,000 through Kickstarter to build the first prototype. Once word began to get out, leaders of several industries began sniffing around, interested in the military and commercial possibilities.
Malloy Aeronautics’ hybrid hoverbike works like a giant propeller drone that combines the lifting power of a helicopter with the look and feel of a motorcycle. It creates lift using two oak propellers powered by a 1,170-cc four-stroke engine and a lightweight carbon fiber body. The company claims its latest prototype has a maximum takeoff weight of 270 kilograms (just over 595 pounds) and can log a distance of 148 kilometers (just over 91 miles) on a single tank of gas.
Currently, Malloy’s design is in the prototype stage, and has only taken flight with a rider once – while tethered to the ground. However it’s not the only hoverbike being worked on. Since 2012, California company Aerofex has been working on a hoverbike called the Aero-X and announced plans to make it available in 2017 – for the low price of $88,000. Might need to get ahold of Marty’s Baseball Encyclopedia and make some money.
Do you think this is a cool idea or is it a complete waste of money? (I’d like to see a male/female breakdown on the responses!) Let us know in the comments below, or on our social media links.