Flying-bike duing a demonstration (via TECHNODAT, DURATEC and EVEKTOR)
Ever Since Star Wars Return of the Jedi was released back in 1983, people have been looking to create their own hover-bikes. Very few have had some initial success with conceptual designs; others have actually built working prototypes such as group of Czech engineers who have developed their own iteration of hover-bike known as the Flying-Bike. The design is a result of a collaborative effort by TECHNODAT, DURATEC and EVEKTOR engineers and while it may not look very futuristic, it is functional. Unlike the hover-bikes from Star Wars, this bike looks more like a cross between a mountain bike and a large-scale quadro-copter and features six horizontally mounted propellers (two in both front and back and two on opposing sides). The bike is outfitted with two side supports that not only help with maintaining stable flight but also function as a landing brace of sorts for stabilization when on the ground.
The Flying-Bike is powered by 14 LiPol battery cells (for a 3 to 5 minute ride per charge) positioned inside the bikes frame, which gives the rider greater stability even though it appears the center of gravity is pushed forward to some degree. While the engineers outfitted the bike with a dummy for the demonstration (human riders may be used for testing this fall), control was done through an RC unit for safety purposes, which was still impressive. Information on how to actually control the bike is sketchy at best but the engineers are looking to tech company HovverFly to collaborate with them on a control box outfitted with control mechanisms and a relevant sensor suit to get the job done. So far, the Flying-Bike project has cost thousands of dollars to develop and by the looks of it they have succeeded in building a crude but functional prototype; however, a more streamlined bike is sure to come from the Czech team sometime in the near future. Another hover-bike company, Aerofex, made headlines back in 2008 with their futuristic conceptual design that actually got off the ground.
Their Aerofex hover-bike is outfitted with two large ducted rotors positioned in the front and back of the vehicle enabling the craft to achieve flight (15 feet so far due to safety concerns). The pilot controls the Aerofex’s attitude (pitch, roll and yaw) by leaning left, right, forward or backward (much like riding a motorcycle. Rollovers are prevented by using two control bars the rider can manipulate at knee level to maintain stability. So far, test pilots have achieved stable test flights traveling at rate of 30mph at an altitude of 15 feet, which might not seem like much but considering that hover-bikes are still in their developmental infancy is no less incredible. It stands to reason that in the near future it’s almost certain that hover-bikes in one shape or another will be available on the commercial market. Just look how far we have come since the Write brothers developed the first successful flight of an aircraft.
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