It may have taken endless millennia, but the future is almost here: an Australian man has built what appears to be the world’s first working hoverbike prototype.
The contraption, built by Chris Malloy, lifts its bulk off terra firma using a pair of propellers driven by a four-stroke engine of the sort you might find on a motorbike.
It hovers using simple thrust and manoeuvres thanks to a set of control vanes below each prop, deflecting the air as required. Twisting the left handle grip causes the thing to move back and forth, pushing the handle bar down on a particular side moves it left and right, and turning the handlebars causes it to move its nose left in the required direction.
Chris estimates his prototype is capable of carrying 130kg of weight for up to 45 minutes, can hover at more than 10,000 feet and can reach over 170mph. However at this stage he has only tested the hoverbike whilst it is tethered to the ground because he’s scared of breaking it and himself during the testing phase.
It the hoverbike actually does reach the development phase, Chris imagines it could be relatively affordable. He estimates the price could be anywhere between $45,000 AD (£29,673) and the cost of a performance motorbike depending on how many he can churn out per year.
Remarkably, Chris is willing to build a working prototype for anyone that has the money to buy one, though he goes to great pains to highlight the fact any potential owner would, in effect, be a guinea pig. If you’d like to get involved with the project without risking life and limb Chris is also accepting funding to help drive the project forward.
To find out more, or to get your own slice of the future, head over to the hoverbike web site. To see it in action, hit play on the video below.