With flat twin 4-stroke engine, one camshaft and 4-valves per cylinder and central balancer shaft the hoverbike is supposed to be able to reach an estimated height of more than 10,000 feet and reach an indicated airspeed of 150 knots (278 km/h or 173 mph). But this is just in theory as Chris Malloy is going to conduct test flights of a prototype hoverbike in a couple of months.
At present Chris Malloy works in an engineering company in Australia. His current work is connected with the mechanical design of airborne and ground based hyperspectral sensors. Malloy spent more than two years on creating his hoverbike. He worked on the weekends and after work.
As a result he constructed a prototype Hoverbike that seats a single pilot on a Kevlar reinforced carbon fiber with foam core frame in between two horizontal spinning propellers constructed from Tasmanian Oak with a carbon fiber leading edge.
The hoverbikeâ€™s Dry weight is 110kg, maximum gross weight is estimated as 270kg, total thrust numbers 295kg and the engine – 80kw – 7500 rpm.Â With dimensions of 3 m long by 1.3 m wide by 0.55 m high the Hoverbike has a maximum takeoff weight of 270 kg. Malloy claims the bike’s 30 L primary fuel tank should provide a range of 148 km (92 miles) at a cruising speed of 80 kts (148 km/h or 92 mph), while the addition of secondary fuel tanks that double the fuel capacity will double the range.
Control of the Hoverbike is done completely via the handlebars. Forward and reverse movement is controlled via the motorbike-like handlebar grips. The right grip increases the thrust, while the left grip controls the angle of the control vanes positioned under the rotors to pitch the nose of the Hoverbike down.
If to speak about safety the hoverbike was designed with safety as the over-riding factor in all design.Â The hoverbike has as many components as possible with triple redundancy which requires at least 2 other components to fail before you might have a serious airborne failure. This combined with a massive reduction in total parts (compared to a helicopter) and the hoverbike becomes safer and cheaper.
With the hoverbike there is the choice wearing an emergency parachute and there are two explosive parachutes attached to the airframe. The hoverbike in it’s current configuration cannot autorotate (with adjustable pitch propellers it can) but this should not be viewed as a discredit to the design. Engine failure in a helicopter or plane by no means assures you that you will survive an autorotation or glide, as air crash statistics show.
The hoverbike was classed as an ‘ultralite’ which means you do not need a pilots license to fly the hoverbike.
But to fly with the hoverbike you still have to wait. Malloy encourages everybody to make a donation on his web-site and hopes that soon he will be able to produce about 1000 hoverbikes a year. The expected cost of the hoverbike is US$40,000. [via Gizmag andÂ Hoverbike]