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Hoverbike takes off Answered

Australian Christopher Malloy has built what seems to be a working hoverbike.  Built in his Sydney garage, with a custom carbon-fibre frame and a BMW engine, the machine is being touted as "Star Wars Speeder bike Mk1".

Currently restricted to tethered flights of a few inches altitude, Malloy claims the bike feels stable, and is just waiting permission to undertake untethered tests.

'I am still ground testing at the moment only because I'm not 100 per cent sure what will happen so the straps are there to cover the unknown. I haven't had the pleasure of flying round the countryside yet.

'It is quite stable and doesn't want to tip over but if something unplanned happened during testing I wouldn't want to break the prototype.

'The Hoverbike was built with safety in mind so at least three components have to fail before you might have a serious airborne failure.

'There are also two explosive parachutes attached to the airframe and of course the rider could choose to wear their own parachute too.

He predicts:
  • 10,000ft altitude.
  • 100mph
  • 92 mile, 45 minute flight on one tank
  • £45,000 pricetag
The hoverbike should also have "ultralight" status - at only 270kg, under US regulations, no pilot's license would be required.  Since it has no driven wheels, it shouldn't require a road license either...!  Malloy is a former helicopter pilot, and says those skills are helpful when flying the hoverbike, but also says that the unique craft ultimately needs no more skill to fly than a motorbike, with speed and direction being controlled by a mixture of throttle and body-posture.

As soon as I win the Lottery, I know who is going to get a knock at the door...



8 years ago

Awesome! Now all I have to do is win the lotto before you!


8 years ago

Intriguing - I'm not sure the 10,000ft prediction would be allowed without a pilot's license, though.

I also wonder why his thethers are still so short - no matter how convinced about its safety and stability, I should think the authorities would want to see a higher-tethered 'flight' or three.

Still, good luck to him.