Hoverbike Is Stuff SF Dreams Are Made Of

Could this prototype hoverbike actually travel at up to 170 mph - and fly to 10,000 feet? The device's propellers are powered by a a central 1170cc four-stroke engine with a seat on top. Australian creator Chris Malloy thinks so.

(Hoverbike in profile)

The right handlebar controls the thrust of the rotors, while the left one adjusts the angle of the control vanes, pitching the nose down or up to move forward or backward respectively. Left and right involves turning the handlebars left or right respectively.

The current prototype doesn't have much in the way of safety features, but Malloy plans to add a pair of explosive parachutes to the frame, or just require the rider to wear a parachute, as well as covering the currently-exposed propellors with a mesh to stop limbs from being lopped off. Malloy also hopes to implement gyroscopic controls with onboard overrides to stop the craft from tipping over.

(Hoverbike as seen from above)

Star Wars fans might well be thinking of the landspeeder from the original book (and film):

For a moment Luke hesitated at leaving the machine behind -- but, he argued to himself, it's vital components were obviously shot. So he jumped into the landspeeder, causing the recently repaired repulsion floater to list alarmingly to one side until he was able to equalize weight distribution by sliding behind the controls.

From Wired UK; thanks to Moira for the tip and the reference.

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