Vehicles from those old sci fi films are increasingly becoming a reality. Driverless cars, autonomous boats and all sorts of drones are regularly in the news. The latest to hit the headlines is the Hoverbike.
The Hoverbike (which is in fact a quad copter) started life way back in 2014 and was funded by a Kickstarter campaign. Development on the Hoverbike, continued into 2015 and following a test flight of their prototype at the Paris air show, UK company Malloy Aeronautics paired up with American engineering company SURVICE to deliver a Hoverbike for the US Department of Defence.
In early testing manned versions of the vehicle were used but the vehicle was tethered and it was originally thought that movement of personnel was going to one of the uses of the Hoverbike. IN fact the original website states that it can be used manned or unmanned. The elongated seating and images from early tests also support the fact that it could be ridden. However, it’s official name of Joint Tactical Aerial Resupply Vehicle seems to confirm that the Hoverbike will be used as an unmanned supply drone by the US army.
The vehicle showed off its capabilities at the Unmanned Warrior event back in October 2016, showing how it can lift large payloads and also deliver them at the push of a button. It was also on display at the Farnborough air show earlier that year.
The Hover bike’s ability to fly at low or high altitudes and up to speeds of 60 miles per hour, could allow huge improvements to be made when resupplying troops
The existing prototype is electric but the researchers are investigating a hybrid propulsion system in the hope they can increase the capabilities both in terms of load and range.
As with most military innovations there is of course, a much wider scope for such a vehicle. Emergency services and humanitarian causes across the world could benefit. The ability to collect or drop items (or even people) into areas that are difficult to access could change the way humanitarian projects and disaster zone areas are managed.
To find out more and view the videos visit the Hoverbike website
Image source: Hoverbike / MA
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