- A revolution in aviation:
- The Hoverbike is the result of years worth of R&D. We combined the simplicity of a motorbike and the freedom of a helicopter to create the world’s first flying motorcycle.When compared with a helicopter, the Hoverbike is cheaper, more rugged and easier to use – and represents a whole new way to fly. The Hoverbike flies like a quadcopter, and can be flown unmanned or manned, while being a safe – low level aerial workhorse with low on-going maintenance.
- The Hoverbike has been designed from the very beginning to replace conventional helicopters such as the Robinson R22 in everyday one man operational areas like cattle mustering and survey, not just for the obvious fact that it is inefficient and dangerous to place complex conventional helicopters in such harsh working environments but also from a practical commercial position in which bringing to market a cheaper better product will not only take over the existing market but can open it up to far more new customers who before could not afford the upfront costs of a typical helicopter and the very expensive and often unlooked for mantainace costs.
- Our goal is to produce an extremely reliable helicopter, designed with rugged simplicity at it’s heart and true pilot safety built into the design and operation of the aircraft
- Nothing we are doing is new. We are not developing any component or system that has not been designed and thoroughly tested before. If we are doing anything new it is the combination of existing systems. We believe that the best step forward is just that – a single step forward. Nature and commercial history tells us this best.
Second Hoverbike Prototype
- Our first Hoverbike prototype is a bi-copter. The vehicle is controlled by deflecting thrust from its two propellers using control vanes – these are a bit like rudders or ailerons on a plane. After extensive testing involving the manned vehicle and scale models, we moved to a proven quadcopter design, because with current technology we could not design a bi-copter cheap enough for safe and competitive sales. The bi-copter is an elegant solution and vehicle – however the available technology is not ready yet for a practical vehicle with a bi-copter design.The most noticeable feature of the new Hoverbike and the 1/3rd scale drone is its unique patent pending offset and overlapping rotor blades, designed to reduce weight and planform area. Just like the manned vehicle, the ducting around the propellers is a safety feature, and the vehicle is lightweight and powerful, while folding to a compact size for transportation.
- We are in the final construction stages of the latest manned prototype of Hoverbike, and in a few months we will start flight testing. After the successful completion of test flights we will build a final engineering prototype for submission to aviation certification authorities. This all takes a lot of time and money and raising funds to achieve this is what this campaign is all about. We have a proven track record over the years, and our dedication to the Hoverbike development will continue beyond this kickstarter campaign until we are ready for sale of the manned Hoverbike.
- The original Hoverbike was built by Chris Malloy of New Zealand, after work and studies in his garage in suburban Sydney Australia. This project started out as a hobby, but quickly grew into a commercial enterprise, with interest from people and groups such as universities, farmers, search and rescue, private and military, with notable visits from the US Army G-3/5/7 and Locheed Martin “skunk works”
- Most of the frame of the original Hoverbike was hand crafted from carbon fibre, kevlar and aluminum with a foam core.
Some detailed features required hand shaping as opposed to CAD modelling and CNC additive and subtractive manufacturing.
As you can see on the original Hoverbike, there are not many parts. (so few parts to fail).
Testing was sporadic over the first months after the initial built was completed.
The test flight below, shows a flight test, where the throttle and pitch response was being tested
- The hoverbike development has been broken up into 3 distinct phases: Design, Construction and Testing, with further program’s running in parallel such as marketing, business and aviation certification
- To be expected there is a certain amount of fluidity between these development phases, with an emphasis on early error and integration detection and correction, which has already lead to reduced development time and costs.
- The hoverbike to date has performed exactly as predicted, a testament to the basic design of the airframe. With the first prototype design and construction phases complete and testing begun.
- Flight testing of the Hoverbike involves 3 steps to achieve production ready flight. These are described as Development, Engineering and Production.
- The development phase includes the initial flight tests of the hoverbike which is includes in roughly this order; general airframe testing, tethered hovering, untethered hovering, translational lifting, spin tests, stall tests etc (some conducted unmanned).
- The engineering step is really just data validation, and is not used to expand the design envelope on the current model. An example of this is performance testing.
- The production step will confirm that the production hoverbike is preforming and is built to all characteristics of the design.