Hoverbike – A revolution in aviation
Russian-American aero design company Hoversurf has successfully tested a real-live flying four-rotor manned drone that was made to resemble a motocross bike. Hoversurf has a patent on the bike, which with its armored pilot looks like an Imperial Speeder Bike.
The Hoversurf Scorpion-3 is a “human-carrying drone” according to the company. “It’s a unique electric-powered vessel combining a motorcycle seat with quadcopter drone technology bringing speed agility and stability of flight to the hands of amateur and professional navigators,” explains Hoversurf’s web site.
As you might guess, considering the potential hazard of crashing, falling off from high altitude or become involved with the Scorpion’s whirling rotors, Hoversurf regards the bike as an instrument of extreme sports activities rather than regular personal transportation.
Hoverbike drones will be mass produced using the new design. The quad aerodynamic concept has a pair of blades in the front and another in the back. Blades are offset from each other to provide additional thrust. This second generation design looks more like a quadcopter but still flies like a hovercraft.
The drone features guard to keep the blades from doing damage and a large area to hold a payload. One of the great features about the drone is its ability to fold up on itself and then fit into a carrying bag. Cyborg Buster is the drone pilot shown in the Kickstarter video, and he can be printed on a 3d printer and then outfitted with a Go-Pro camera.
A MAcro Micro board acts as the controller on the Hoverbike drone and is Arduino compatible. The board was designed to drive the LEDs on the Hoverbike and also to allow operators to control levers, release pins or add additional functionality.
Malloy and his team are building an incredible product. Most likely there are decades between this project and the time that we will be able to drive street legal hoverbikes down the road but this is a great step toward the end goal.
However, with additional development and refinement, mainstream uses in the future are possible.