If Chris Malloy’s Hoverbike works as it’s designed to work, there’s going to be a long line of customers waiting for a chance to get on board, this twin rotor BMW boxer powered
hovercraft flying motorcycle will do more than give you the feeling of flying, you’ll BE flying.
The carbon fiber Hoverbike weighs 231 pounds with a maximum takeoff weight of 595 pounds. On just the primary fuel tank it has a range of 92 miles at 80 knots (92 mph), with a theoretical top speed of 172 mph and a maximum altitude of 10,000 feet! So far, all tests have been tethered so these performance figures are somewhat speculative, but if he gets into the next phase of actual untethered flight, we’ll know whether those numbers can be achieved.
Control is by the motorcycle style handlebars, twist grips control rotor thrust and deflection of the air vanes which provides forward and reverse, turns are controlled by turning the bars, somewhere in the near future are gyros for stability and explosive parachutes to bring the craft down in the event of engine failure or the rider can wear a chute, too. Counter rotating rotors eliminate the need for a tail rotor.
Malloy says the Hoverbike is actually designed for utilitarian purposes like search and rescue, power line inspection and the like, but I can’t see this staying out of the hands of thrill seekers who have always dreamed of a bike like this. He figures it will be classed as an ultralight in the US eliminating the need for a pilot’s license.
Personal hover type vehicles have a long history of great designs that never make it to market because they always seem to come up short in actual flight testing, but if there’s ever been one I would like to see make it to production, this would be the one.