Yesterday, we talked about how U.S. Navy is testing out an electromagnetic aircraft launching system. Well, it seems the U.S. Army doesn’t want to be left behind in terms of advanced military technology – as is evident from their dabbling in a flying bike design that can move at an exhilarating speed of 173 mph (or 277 km/hr). Developed by UK-based Malloy Aeronautics in collaboration with U.S. Department of Defense’s SURVICE, the craft is touted to be constructed from lightweight yet sturdy carbon fiber.
Interestingly enough, Malloy Aeronautics has already showcased their expertise in designing hover bikes, as can be comprehended from their last year’s successfully funded Kickstarter project entailing the Hoverbike. Consisting of two rotors, the bi-copter with its foam core boasted of a robust 1170 cc engine, while flaunting its capacity to rise to a height of 9,800 ft. Now obviously, the backers of the projects were not able to purchase the ‘real deal’, but rather a proof-of-concept drone version of the vehicle with both autonomous and manual-controlling features.
But this time around, the designers are gearing up for the full-scale contrivance, especially with DoD coming into the mix. The development of the project is further fueled by the evolving of technology itself that has made the engineers confident of creating a manned version of the Hoverbike consisting of four rotors. And beyond just technicalities, this flying bike will have its own set of crucial advantages over the comparable helicopter, as explained by Malloy’s marketing sales director Grant Stapleton –
There are a lot of advantages of the Hoverbike over a regular helicopter. Primarily there’s safety. With adducted rotors you immediately not only protect people and property if you were to bump into them, but if you ever were to bump into somebody or property it’s going to bring the aircraft out of the air. So there’s a considerable safety level which is a considerably high level of safety involved there. The other thing is cost. This is much less expensive to buy a Hoverbike and much less expensive to run.
In essence, it is mostly about the cost effectiveness and the practical size of the flying craft, thus making the Hoverbike perfect for small-scale missions like search-and-rescue operations, emergency activities, and even cargo arranging in confined spaces. As for the military perspective, DoD is also looking forth to the the personal transportation capacity of the vehicle (along with logistics and supplies) over terrains unsuitable for wheeled-vehicles. This would be complemented by its high-altitude attribute that can be used for real-time (yet safe) surveillance on enemy activities.
You can also check out a similar conception named as Flike – created by a Hungary-based private startup.