Behold the Hoverbike

Dude this thing looks AWESOME!

Fucking sweet. Hope he gets it working because that is some serious Blade Runner shit in action right there. As long as they are outlawed anywhere within a mile of my house, that is.

(Unfortunately for him vortex aerodynamics are hellishly complex, just ask the pilot of the crashed Bin Laden chopper…)

Awesome, I hope he’ll post videos of a proper test flight soon! Next step: Flying cars.

Yes, this is what civilian drivers need. A Z-axis.

If you think the step up from two dimensions to three will be difficult, just wait 'til they add a time dimension as well!

To the overspawn!!

Just watch out for the Ewoks …

He’d better not be texting on that thing! Oprah will flip shit and kill people!

How the fuck could he text when he has to hang on for dear life or flip into an uncontrollable upside-down spin at 10,000 feet and 150 mph?

Put half the keyboard under the left thumb and half the keyboard under the right thumb. Or an eye tracking HUD in the helmet.

Sigh, upon further surfing I have come to the conclusion that this guy is comprehensively doomed to failure. I remember seeing something on boingboing or somewhere a year or two ago about a dude working on a ducted fan backpack. And then there is the Moller aircar, perpetual vaporware.

I strongly suspect that all these concepts are so aerodynamically unstable (fuck, the hoverbike’s center of gravity looks like it’s above the rotors!) that they are essentially doomed without some super-whizzy dynamic stabilization technology. Basically these things are trying to be the aerodynamic equivalent of the Segway – balancing the rider on top of a fundamentally unstable source of lift.

Helicopters have enough troubles with this already, and the Osprey spent billions of dollars trying to get it right (have they even now got the V-22 working properly?). So this fellow… well, he’s doomed by the difficulties of high torque and vortical airflow. I suspect if he were a helicopter engineer he would never have started this project.

Someday this may be possible on the cheap, but not yet, I don’t think, at least not without some super high powered control software in the loop. Maybe Carmack could pull it off…

Edit: This Wired comments thread has some interesting data including that it’s been done before. With video, yet. So maybe it’s more feasible now with modern materials and – definitely – good control software.

Clearly the answer is more rotors.

If it had 42 of them, it would be rock solid.

Israel’s Urban Aero thinks the design will work. They’re making the Air Mule

I appreciate the engineering quality of this machine, but without a farm of supercomputers and testing equipment to determine exact airflow characteristics of his machine… yeah he might be pretty d0med.

Nah, all he really has to do is put together a functional tethered prototype. Someone else will pick it up from there.

Two rotors seems like it’d be tough to balance, especially with the center of gravity issue. 3 on the other hand, in a isosceles or equilateral configuration, seems more balanced. You could have 2 running clockwise, 1 running counter clockwise, with the clockwise one running at half speed or whatever is needed to balance out the torque.

That isn’t that simple. You can’t just impart an opposite torque in a triangle configuration like that and have it magically work out.

Yeah, quad rotor is the next potentially stable configuration, and might make more sense actually (hover quadbike!!!).

Holy shit is that thing cool. They are considering it for an unmanned medevac vehicle that can safely operate in cities because of the shielded rotors. That really is Blade Fuckin’ Runner.

And they’re still at it:

Ah, the dreaded “secure additional funding.” Still, it looks potentially better than anything Moller ever did. It has wheels now, too!

That reminds me of the G.I. Joe toy, Ghost H.A.W.K.

Damn sexy. I want one.