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Hoverbike Makes Debut

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Hoverbike Makes Debut

Old 11th Jun 2011, 13:22
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Hoverbike Makes Debut

Got a horrible commute? Try a hoverbike!
By Tecca tecca – Fri Jun 10, 4:31 pm ET
Have you ever been sitting in traffic and just wished you could go over the other commuters? Australian mechanical engineer and inventor Chris Malloy has helped that dream get one step closer to reality with his Hoverbike prototype.
The single-passenger vehicle consists of a frame made of Kevlar-reinforced carbon fiber with a foam core, between two horizontal spinning propellers. The propellers are made from Tasmanian oak with a carbon fiber leading edge for strength. The driving controls of the Hoverbike are similar to those of a motorcycle, via handlebar grips. The right grip controls thrust, while the left grip controls the angle of the control vanes that make the Hoverbike go forward or backward. Turning the handlebars left and right turns the vehicle just like a motorcycle.
The Hoverbike will theoretically reach speeds of 173 mph and a height of more than 10,000 feet, but at the moment, it's only been tested while tethered a mere three feet from the ground. That's because while Malloy is very confident in the stability of the machine, he doesn't want to risk breaking the prototype should something unplanned happen. And design and testing are going so well that Malloy hopes to have the Hoverbike into limited production within a year, and full production two years after that. The vehicle is expected to come in at a relatively affordable $40,000, comparable to a high-end motorcycle.
Hoverbike via Geekosystem

Okay, This is Cool: A Working Hoverbike

By Damon Poeter

Luke Skywalker, eat your heart out—Australian Chris Malloy and his partners claim to have invented an actual, working hoverbike that zips along above the terrain like a Star Wars landspeeder cruising over the deserts of Tatooine.
"Our goal is to produce an extremely reliable helicopter, designed with rugged simplicity at its heart and true pilot safety built into the design and operation of the aircraft," Malloy's hoverbike website states.
The prototype hoverbike can supposedly attain speeds of up to 175 miles-per-hour and could theoretically climb to a height of 10,000 feet. That kind of oomph is presumably slightly more than is needed for what Malloy bills as one of the main uses for his hoverbike, "cattle mustering."
Maybe if cows suddenly sprout wings or get jet packs.
To be fair, Malloy also thinks his hoverbike, which works like a small helicopter, could replace such aircraft in fields like search and rescue, aerial surveying, firefighting, moviemaking, and power line inspection.

The hoverbike prototype's 1100cc engine is a flat twin four-stroke with one camshaft, four valves per cylinder, and a central balancer shaft. Its two propellers are made of Tasmanian Oak with a carbon fiber leading edge, according to the hoverbike website's spec sheet.
The hoverbike weighs about 240 pounds. It's almost ten feet long by a bit over four feet wide. The aircraft takes regular unleaded and burns up about eight gallons of fuel per hour in flight, according to the site. That means it gets pretty good mileage, about 21.8 miles-per-gallon, and the bike can travel 92 miles on a single tank of gas.

Of course, not everybody's buying it. The Escapist points out that while there's a lot of still photography on Malloy's site, there's no video of the hoverbike in action—though there is a YouTube video (below) showing the hoverbike in a "smoke test" to demonstrate airflow through the front propeller.
The hoverbike team says it has completed the first stage of testing with a series of tethered flights, according to the website, succeeding at maintaining a controlled hover and maneuvering the vehicle within the hover.
Next up is roll-testing and removing the tethers, according to the hoverbike team.
Malloy and his team are soliciting donations to raise $1.1 million (Australian dollars) to get to the next stage of development in their project. As of Friday, hoverbike fans had pitched in $69,125, according to the site's donation page.

Last edited by Dan Reno; 11th Jun 2011 at 13:47. Reason: Added article.
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Old 11th Jun 2011, 14:04
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I did not read any mention of certification. Aside from amature build category, can such an aircraft be sold without being certified? I can see some stumbling blocks in certification - demonstrating FAR 27.71 Glide, might be a challenge.

Perhaps this is more to be a "hovercraft", in the limited to ground effect sense....
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Old 11th Jun 2011, 20:53
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not to mention directional stability, ability to hover with cross winds, the list gets pretty long pretty quickly.
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Old 11th Jun 2011, 21:24
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Let's re-visit this one in 50 years !
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Old 12th Jun 2011, 10:06
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FAR 27.71 Glide

What do you reckon the ROD would be and what height would you start the flare ;-)

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Old 13th Jun 2011, 04:16
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What do you reckon the ROD would be and what height would you start the flare ;-)
Well, I was trained in 300's, and was told to begin the flare, (and I quote): "when my Spidy senses begin to tingle". and it worked well.

With this flying machine, my Spidy senses would begin to tingle every time I got more than about a foot off the ground!
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Old 13th Jun 2011, 08:55
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For something that doesn't go more than a hover off the ground, I'd buy one. As something that actually goes flying, I'm less sure - I don't know how much confidence I'd have in being able to get it down from, say, an engine failure at a few hundred feet AGL.
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Old 13th Jun 2011, 09:37
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you surely get a parachute with it ;-)

and - you should read through his website
"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 "

Greetings Flying Bull
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Old 13th Jun 2011, 10:26
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Maybe a bit of a rethink required there Chris.

Engine failure at a couple of feet, fair enough, skid it on (at high speed, but just like a motorbike there.)

A couple of hundred feet? Deploy the parachute, you'll land happily in the playground of the kindy you were flying over, a few seconds after your hoverbike became an uninvited playmate in the sandpit.

In between? How good's your parachute at inflating from 50 feet, say?

He could just put a placard on it forbidding riding above 3 feet, though; that should solve the problem.
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Old 13th Jun 2011, 11:13
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(with adjustable pitch propellers it can)
Well, a high aspect ratio rotor blade, with a weighted tip, which must turn at a few hundred RPM during auto rotation, and is exposed directly to "clean" oncoming air is one thing. A propeller which is not any of those things, and with a duct must have the air enter only as a result of a completely vertical descent, is very much another. I cannot imagine the autorotating propellers storing enough energy to arrest the high vertical decsent rate required to get them spinning.

I used to fly light hovercraft a lot. One of the safety elements of which you become rapidly aware, is that with any speed of consequence, and a travel direction other than "straight ahead", an engine failure is going to result in a rollover, and it is you who are being rolled over. For that reason, though it may not be immediately apparent, the structure of most hovercraft include something like rollover protection, if you manage to hang on.
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Old 13th Jun 2011, 15:27
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Do you get a Stormtroopers outfit with it
Me like alot !!!!

Stop knocking it, if someone is trying to think outside the box then let them, this is how most eureka ideas come about, if not, we wouldn't be on a site for aviation, someone has to take the leap first.(and I don't mean this literally!)

Keep up the work Chris, its guys like you that keep this world interesting.

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Old 21st Jun 2012, 08:30
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Just to ensure the quad-bikers don't feel left out:

Less flying time than the Firefly ("just three to five minutes"), so make sure you practice your autos.

Last edited by turboshaft; 23rd Jun 2015 at 12:15. Reason: Dead link
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Old 21st Jun 2012, 16:02
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Hmmm...170 at hover height, maybe, but 10000ft? No thank you!
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Old 21st Jun 2012, 16:13
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I had to check the date when I read this but it is mid June and not April 1st...

174MPH? Well, straight down if the engine fails perhaps, but how could it achieve anything like that with ducted fans? 45deg nose down to get the trust vector far enough forward - that would be a fun ride wouldn't it? But imagine the drag. And how are those ducted fans going to get clean air to bite on once it gets beyond 40mph or so? No translational lift and no chance of autorotation. Vanes to direct the thrust? That's going to be efficient, turning the air through 90degrees. You'd struggle to get 175mph out of that engine if you put it in a streamlined motorbike, but with that sort of inefficiency and drag surely no more than 60? Nah. Pie in the sky.

Its no more than half a hovercraft without a skirt - An amusing distraction for early evening local TV news and short hovering demos at Truckfest but as transport? Forget it. Stick to hovercraft, at least they do work. Even so, we all know how useful they are.

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Old 21st Jun 2012, 17:11
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It's just another fad, hopefully it'll soon pass before anyone gets hurt.

Search and Rescue, my a&$e!

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Old 21st Jun 2012, 19:07
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I want one, oh yes indeedy........just think of the fun I could have. Olympics nightmare. Lol.

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Old 21st Jun 2012, 20:29
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Smile For those who want a quadrotor PAV

OTHER: Helicopter - Inside - Quadrotor - Electrotor-SloMo

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Old 23rd Jun 2015, 12:19
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DoD interested in Malloy hoverbike as a new class of Tactical Reconnaissance Vehicle
Several options are being discussed when it comes to methods of control. These include the vehicle being piloted by an onboard soldier, with a drive-by-wire system being used. It's not currently clear whether pilots will require a license to control the craft, though this will likely hinge on whether it's being piloted remotely or not.
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Old 23rd Jun 2015, 18:12
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Hiller was doing that in the 1950's

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Old 24th Jun 2015, 14:07
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Arnie Madsen

Is it wrong for me to say, I LIKE THAT !!!!!!!!

Although I would have to say, when he goes higher, I would have requested a crane with a harness on it, just in case.

Reminds me of 'Back to the future' hover board

Me want one !!!
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