Developing the Malloy Aeronautics Hover Bike
Last month, a kickstarter project was launched, planning on making fiction a reality. It was for a drone version of a hover bike, which would be full sized, and able to be ridden. The project was to be crowdfunded to help the developers see their idea through to completion.
So far, with still another week to go for the campaign, the project has exceeded its funding target, with many supporters willing to invest in this invention. This is allowing the development to move forward much more quickly than had been planned.
Although the hover bike is the main item that is drawing the attention of the public and potential investors, it is the development of the drone that requires the most development from the team. The quadcopter drone can be produced carrying a Cyborg Buster, which is a 3D printed figure, and this figure can even carry a GoPro camera in the head unit. The drone comes with an automatic takeoff and landing option and can act completely independently following its pre-programmed flight path.
So far, there have been three different types of hovercraft to fly off the design table. These are the two rotor, original vehicles, which can be manned, and the quadcopter drones, which have both been developed to the testing stage, whilst the second prototype hover bike is still at the development stage.
Whilst the drone has been seen frequently, the full-sized hover bike vehicle, now in a MK2 stage is remaining tightly under wraps. It’s been seen a couple of times and is an impressive vehicle although there are still a few months to go before it can be unveiled in its fully tested and developed state. It features a quadrotor frame that is similar to the one used on the drones that have already come out of the kickstarter, although the frame has a more angular shape to it, and it is constructed from carbon sheet and aircraft grade aluminum to make it robust but lightweight enough to hover.
A lot of thought has had to go into the design process for the hover bike to make it suitable to safely carry a person’s weight. Adjustable weighting is included for example, to ensure that no matter what the pilot’s physique is, they will be able to sit comfortably without upsetting the balance of the frame. It also has an offset rotor and self-cutting rotor channel, although these haven’t yet been added to the frame.
The blade housing features UV stabilized polycarbonate so that when the rotors finally do get fitted, they will be able to create a channel by cutting through the material. This will ensure that there is minimal clearance between the propeller and the duct wall for aerodynamics and performance.
Whilst the originally designed hover bike was impressive, it wasn’t at all safe enough to ride, and not for prolonged amounts of time. The dual rotor meant that it was unstable and had to turn at just the right angle to avoid tipping. The new quad rotor design will ensure that the vehicle is far more stable and can make turns more reliably.