hoverbike prototype hoverbike prototype
jun 10, 2011

hoverbike prototype

‘hoverbike’ prototype, invented by australian mechanical engineer chris malloy

working in his spare time, australian mechanical engineer chris malloy claims to have invented a working ‘hoverbike‘, operated like a motorcycle. measuring 9.8 long by 4.3 wide and 1.8 feet high (3 x 1.3 x 0.55m) the prototype bike seats a single pilot between two oak and carbon fibre-blade two-blade propellers, currently exposed but which for safety reasons will be covered in mesh in future models. in basic flight design, the bike is modeled after tandem-rotor chinook helicopters, whereby the two rotors rotate in opposite directions, canceling one another’s torque and thus increasing stability and efficiency of the vehicle.

the ‘hoverbike’ is controlled completely by handlebars, via actions similar to those used for motorcycles. forward and reverse movement is accomplished through two grips, one of which increases the thrust while the other adjusts the angle of the control vanes positioned below the rotors, pitching the nose of the vehicle down for forward movement and up for backwards.

front view during tethered testing

malloy estimates that the ‘hoverbike’, whose 4-stroke engine drives 80kW of power to the propellers, generating 7500rpm, is capable of reaching heights of over 10,000 feet and of traveling 150 knots (173mph, or 278km/h). the vehicle’s 30L primary tank can be supplemented with additional fuel storage but even on its own should offer a range of 92 miles (148km) when traveling at 80 knots (92mph or 148km/h).

although the relatively low number of parts makes the craft simpler and more reliable than most helicopters, safety concerns for the bike have led malloy to make most engine and operating features triply redundant. two explosive parachutes can be attached to the vehicle’s frame, although malloy recommends that the pilot simply wear an emergency parachute so that he has the option of dislodging from the vehicle if necessary.

full profile view

3/4 top view

aerial view, placed next to a car for size reference

with tests already conducted of the prototype tethered to the ground, the first flight tests are planned for the coming months. the ‘hoverbike’ is classified in the united states as an ‘ultralite’ vehicle, meaning that it would not require a pilot’s license to be operated. malloy hopes to begin limited production of the bike within a year, estimating the cost at about 40,000 USD for a run of 100 units per year, and on par with performance motorcycles if demand rises to about 1000 units per year.

  • cool! might turn out to be a sport! keep it up!

    kyonryan says:
  • bonkers

    ...and brilliant says:
  • Woooooooooooooh !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    bleuplatine says:
  • I love that the thing is tethered in the operating shots. Accidentally lean one degree either way from perpendicular and you’re off in another direction, looks like. The parachute idea is, of course a must have. One wonders about variable pitch propellers and attitude controls that don’t seem obvious.

    Terbreugghen says:
  • ohh god i want one!
    thank you for making this happen

    e says:
  • There will be the need for a perfect synergy between the two rotors, or hovermoto will turn into a helix of mixer.
    Anyway, it’s an interesting and bold principle.

    Sérgio Werneck de Figueiredo says:
  • this thing is very dangerous. Just think on how easy you can put anarm or a hand across the helix.

    fosco says:
  • I’m curious how he’ll adjust for the high center of gravity. Does he lean to steer? If so, it seems that being top heavy will cause him to flip over and accelerate inverted into the ground.

    I give him props for a wicked invention though. Gives me some inspiration!

    Jon Jowers says:
  • oh boy, i can see the cops chasing with these hover-bikes and giving more tickets in the future.

    phoebi says:
  • How does it not roll? Seems very unstable.

    hairpiece says:
  • video?

    disbeliever says:
  • The height of the center of gravity doesn’t actually affect the handling of a helicopter. It may make intuitive sense that the weight should “hang” from the rotor, but in free flight the physics simply doesn’t work that way. Helicopters have the rotor on top simply because it’s more convenient than having it on the bottom – they’re still inherently unstable.

    Turning (yaw control) is probably done by running one of the rotors faster than the other, so the “perfect synergy” is a matter of active pilot control and not mechanical perfection. This is how those cheap radio-controlled toy helicopters operate. They don’t even require tilt control which is a pretty impressive feat.

    iikka says:
  • yyyyyesss, p-leeeease !!

    jcm says:
  • I assume that it’s not a terribly efficient mode of transport, given that a lot of energy is used to fight against gravity. Cool principle, and prototype looks cool too. Are they donut or burnout marks on the bitumen? Aussie Aussie Aussie.

    Brad says:
  • Really really pretty. Love the use of oak in the props.
    Beautiful design, with much fine craft involved in the manufacture.
    I must get busy and design the clothing that begs to be worn when hovering.
    Some lacy flexsteel meshware, with high density knitted silk second skin for warmth. In fabulous colors.

    MadameGeorge says:
  • to all the comments about the high center of gravity or rolling; the centrifugal or gyroscopic force of the propellers makes it HARDER to lean/roll.
    similarly to why a bicycle can be ‘ghost ridden’

    smartanswer says:
  • I love that he has good taste too. the thing looks amazing. it could have been very ugly.

    roosterman says:
  • as for the tethered flights, it is a very good idea. helicopters have long been tethered on early flights. [http://ffden-2.phys.uaf.edu/104_spring2004.web.dir/Tim_Chrisman/Web%20project%20TimChrisman/Spring%20Web%20Project/sik-vs300.jpg]

    roosterman says:
  • Check out the Piasecki Flying Jeep (VZ-8).


    That’s right, this idea was first developed in 1957.

    HotPlasma says:
  • Not really HotPlasma, Piasecki’s design had two tandem, three-blade ducted rotors and Malloy’s design has two tandem blade propellers. In reality nothing happens in a vacuum inspiration has to come from somewhere and I applaud Malloy in his attempt to innovate and explore alternatives to transportation. Just like snowmobiling, dangerous but fun, I would ride one of these things as it looks fun as hell 🙂

    ArtCrit says:
  • crazy!!! sooo awesome!

    mariusz says:
  • i think that all cops have to bring this hovers bike.. So they easily chasing with con. I real like this bikes.

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