Successful hover bike test flights

Videos released by California-based tech research company Aerofex appear to show successful test flights of a prototype hover bike that gains lift from two large ducted rotors, similar in principle to Chris Malloy's Hoverbike prototype we've previously covered

Aeroflex claims its hover bike allows the pilot intuitive control over pitch, roll and yaw without need of artificial intelligence, flight software or electronics of any kind.

According to a report in InnovationNewsDaily on Monday, Aerofex has resurrected 1960s research technology which had been abandoned due to stability problems. The company has apparently rectified the issue with the addition of knee-level "control bars" on either side of the vehicle that make the vehicle more responsive to the pilot's movements.

"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," Aerofex founder Mark De Roche told InnovationNewsDaily. "Since [the pilot's] balancing movements are instinctive and constant, it plays out quite effortlessly to him."

InnovationNewsDaily reports that although the hover bike is capable of greater altitudes and speeds, test flights to date have been limited to 30 mph (48 km/h) and 15 feet (4.6 meters) for safety reasons.

In recent days and weeks Aerofex has released a number of videos on its Youtube channel and "flightlog" Tumblr page. A video uploaded to the latter back in March appears to show the prototype losing control during a test flight on February 13 2010. "It would take 16 months, two inventions, and 41 field tests before we were back in the air," the caption reads. "The result of that effort on control would be dramatic. Our take-away: Fail sooner and never again test on Friday the 13th." My calendar indicates that Friday 13, 2010 was a Saturday. Subsequent videos appear to show more successful tests.

According to InnovationNewsDaily, Aerofex has no immediate plans to commercially launch a manned hover bike but instead sees the technology as a test platform for new unmanned drones. Outlets including Fox and Yahoo! News have since picked up InnovationNewsDaily's story, and there appears to be no suggestion from any quarter at this stage that the authenticity of the videos is in question. Here's a sample video. You be the judge.

Comments

Hurray. Seriously though. It must be very energy inefficient.

yep, energy inefficient, useless crap. I don't get this website, you basically post a load of scientific developments the free market has made available to try and prove the need for a centralization of resource distribution . Under the venus project crap like this would not even be attempted due to it's complete lack of use and huge energy inefficiency . So what exactly are you saying? that his is good bad or indifferent. You'd be better off showing people technologies that will work in the energy scarce society that we are moving into.

Actually energy is abundant, free energy devices are not able to be patented because there is a monopoly on patenting services and it restricts technologies that threaten the current regime.

I think the point is not to say that this invention is really awesome and will be really useful. It's the fact that we as humans are capable of such things if we put our mind to it. It's not that we'll wander around on a bunch of hover bikes like idiots in a resource based economy, it's that the technology exists and could possibly be very useful if applied to a device or system that may have a more important role. I can't really say what that is right now, but it may become more prevalent as new developments and applications arise.

I agree with Purdper. What a waste of time and energy - its almost unbelievable that stuff like this is being funded. It belongs back in the 60's where it came from. Combustion will be a dirty word in the next decade - mark my words. Along with fossil fuel and growth economy.

You and Poopder need to relax. Some things posted on here are just for fun. Something like this hover bike is similar to how F1 racecar technology makes it into production vehicles, like KERS.

Sorry mate but time is a ticking and the combustion engine is way past its expiry date. If we all relaxed like you then power and money greedy corporations will continue to exploit the planet and its people of every resource be that mineral and mental. Societies indoctrination and status anxiety bred you and this car loving culture - you pay - the earth pays and corporations get rich. We need to flip the picture.

Kade: You have a very valid point, the use of outdated and polluting energy sources as combustion engine technology is dangerous and obsolete. The reason we decided to publish it had nothing to do with which energy it chose to utilize and all to do with its potential. I'm sure you're aware of a number of technologies and transport vehicles that started off using primitive energy sources and later evolved to be more powerful and, in some cases, both clean and efficient. Once that prototype/testing phase is overcome, the potential for this type of transport is sure worth investing and, in what concern us, reporting it.

Thanks

It looked like a hovering segway would an RBE city be segway accessible.

Hoverboards and hoverbikes are like the wet-dreams for every single geek out there! I hope its doesn't turn out to be a failure like the Segway scooter though! I know anything hovering would look cool but it must be useful as well. that reminds me! I can’t wait to watch the hilarious accidents people are going to have on a hoverbike!
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I only hope I don't get too old before the hoverbikes become the norm!