It is every Star Wars fan’s dream mode of transport. An American firm has finally made a working ‘hoverbike’.
Created by California firm Aerofex, the vehicle is made from two ducted rotors facing the ground.
Changing the angle of the rotors using two control sticks allows it to move.
A video of the machine being piloted has already become a YouTube hit.
Initial plans to create a hoverbike were thwarted due to a complex control system.
However, Aerofex created a system that responds to a human pilot’s leaning movements and natural sense of balance.
‘Or transporting a small fleet of first-responder craft in the belly of a passenger transport. ‘
The firm also believes it could be used to patrol borders quickly, and say the craft can travel over any terrain.
‘Think of the advantages of patrolling borders without first constructing roads.’
‘Think of it as lowering the threshold of flight, down to the domain of ATV’s (all-terrain vehicles),’ said Mark De Roche, an aerospace engineer and founder of Aerofex.
‘It essentially captures the translations between the two in three axis (pitch, roll and yaw), and activates the aerodynamic controls required to counter the movement — which lines the vehicle back up with the pilot,’ De Roche told InnovationNewsDaily.
However, sadly for Star Wars fans, the firm says it has no plans to sell hoverbikes, instead planning a range of unmanned drones using the technology.
The hovering drones, would use two enclosed rotors.
Aerofex has currently limited human flight testing to a height of 15 feet and speeds of about 30 mph.
The company plans to fly a second version of its vehicle in October, and is also preparing an unmanned drone version for flight testing by the end of 2013.