Forget Drones. The US Army Is Getting Hoverbikes
In a partnership made public at the Paris Airshow, British firm Malloy Aeronautics has teamed up with the US Department of Defense to create the first hoverbikes for the US Army—and eventually for commercial use. Soldiers could soon be traveling like stormtroopers.
The Department of Defense is interested in the technology for a few reasons. For one, it’s safe. The hoverbike’s rotors are guarded so they won’t tear into humans and other objects. It is also a cheaper option than, say, a helicopter. And it’s more maneuverable in tight spaces, with options to operate it autonomously or with a human pilot.
Malloy’s marketing sales director Grant Stapleton tells Quartz that the hoverbike is meant to be a cheaper, more adaptable alternative to the helicopter. The first prototype was estimated to fly at a height of 9,000 feet. (According to Reuters, the British company has already built a one-third scale model.) Stapleton tells Quartz that the hoverbike is being developed for both manned and unmanned use.
Consumers eager to get their hands on the future technology can buy a 1/3 scale radio-controlled model of the quadcopter hoverbike from Malloy Aeronautics for $1,653.
Source: The Verge