After years worth of R&D, Malloy Aeronautics has created a Hoverbike. It combines 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, representing a whole new way to fly. The bike 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 bike has been designed to replace conventional helicopters in everyday one man operational areas like cattle mustering and survey. As it is inefficient and dangerous to have a normal helicopter in harsh working environments, as well as expensive, this bike can open up a new market for customers who could not afford a conventional helicopter.
The 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, the company moved to a proven quadcopter design, because with current technology it 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.
The engine is a flat twin 4-stroke with one camshaft and 4-valves per cylinder and has a displacement of 1170cc. The bike is aircooled and the ignition is electronic, however the bike still runs off fuel and, with a secondary tank, it can hold 60L. It burns 30L/hr, so without a secondary tank the bike will only fly for an hour on a full tank.
The goal is to produce an extremely reliable helicopter, designed with rugged simplicity at its heart and true pilot safety built into the design and operation of the aircraft.
The company is not developing any component or system that has not been designed and thoroughly tested before. If it is 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," says the company.