So new ideas, prototypes and eVTOL flying taxis are under production, but what about flying motorcycles? Several projects are being developed to produce their own bike-like eVTOL vehicles. Although similar to other aerial vehicles presented in this series, hover bikes are usually smaller, lighter and carry fewer people or less cargo. Several of these vehicles, designed for extreme sports as well as urban transportation, are already at an advanced development stage.
As the last part of Mexico Aviation and Aerospace Review’s “Tomorrow’s Flying Taxi, Today,” three flying motorcycle projects with the potential to change urban transportation are presented.
Hoversurf – Scorpion 3
Russia-based technology company Hoversurf has designed, developed and tested its own flying motorcycle. The Scorpion 3 has a range of 21km and can reach a top speed of 70km/h. The quadcopter is powered by three LiPo battery packs and four rotors that enable a single person to fly for up to 20 minutes. The company plans to soon equip Scorpion 3 with new batteries that will power it for up to 40 minutes in the air.
While Scorpion 3 is the first fully-manned flying bike, it can also be flown autonomously. It employs a state-of-the-art safety system supported on flight controllers, special logical programming and technology that limits its speed and altitude.
Scorpion 3 already is available for sale at US$59,900 in six different colors. Buyers need only wait between six and 18 months to receive it. The cargo version of Scorpion 3 has a maximum lift capacity of 150kg and prices begins at US$55,000.
Dubai’s police force has signed a memorandum of understanding with Hoversurf to test the Scorpion 3 and see what missions are more suitable for its deployment. Ideally, these vehicles will enable policemen to reach difficult areas or fly above traffic jams in case of emergencies.
Malloy Aeronautics – Hoverbike
Malloy Aeronautics is an UK-based R&D company that develops the Hoverbike. This eVTOL motorcycle can lift 130kg, soar over 3,000m and reach a speed slightly under 100km/h. Hoverbike is designed to fly with or without human intervention thanks to the use of various sensors to fly and navigate it. The company expects Hoverbike to require zero or little training to be piloted thanks to these features. Hoverbike will offer the possibility to autonomously carry cargo or people at low costs.
Hoverbike is designed to fly various missions that would usually be carried out by a helicopter. Thanks to its small size, this aircraft will be able to reach places that helicopters cannot. However, the company expects Hoverbike to increase safety levels in these missions thanks to the design of its rotors. The use of ducted rotors prevents damage to people or property if a rotor blade bumps them.
Additionally, Grant Stapleton, Marketing Sales Director of Malloy Aeronautics, says the Hoverbike is less expensive to buy and fly than a helicopter. The company plans to offer Hoverbikes at low initial costs and competitive ongoing service costs.
Collaboration between Malloy Aeronautics and the US Department of Defense has been ongoing since the beginning of the Hoverbike project. The company develops Hoverbikes for the US Army because of its potential applications for troop and supply transportation as well as its competitive costs.
Flyt Aerospace – FlytCycle
With the goal of commercializing personal flying machines, Flyt Aerospace focuses on the creation of multi-rotor aircraft that make personal flight common. Equipped with six ducted propellers, FlytCycle can carry one passenger for 10-15 minutes on a single battery charge. The aircraft weighs 75kg when empty and has a maximum take-off weight of 238kg.
This hoverbike is designed for transporting people around urban centers aerially. It also aims to enable people to fly to remote areas without the need of a helicopter. For emergency services, FlytCycle will enable firefighters and policemen to reach emergency scenes, allow for rescue missions to be performed in remote areas and disaster relief to be delivered in the form of airlift supplies. The military can use FlytCycle to transport troops quickly, support them and evacuate wounded soldiers.
Flyt Aerospace aims to start commercializing the FlytCycle soon and offer safe cargo and human transportation in the middle term. Though the company was only founded in 2013, it already aims to target the military and recreational vehicle markets. FlytCycle has already carried out several hundred manned test flights and the company is in the process of recruiting collaborators and raising funds to continue developing flying motorcycles.
Check out the first, second, third and fourth installments of Mexico Aviation and Aerospace Review‘s “Tomorrow’s Flying Taxi, Today” and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter to get the latest industry news.