Helicopter pilot invents the 'hoverbike' in his garage
Traffic jams could soon become a thing of the past thanks to an amateur inventor who has built the world's first flying motorcycle in his garage.
Australian Christopher Malloy ploughed his entire life-savings into the project which took him two and a half years to complete. His futuristic creation - dubbed the Hoverbike - can reach an altitude of 10,000ft and speeds of over 100mph.
Fans of the design have already compared Mr Malloy's work to the 'speeder bikes' from the Star Wars sequel Return Of The Jedi or the hovering car from Back To The Future.
The 32-year-old former helicopter pilot built the incredible machine in his Sydney garage using a custom-built carbon-fiber airframe and a BMW engine.
The futuristic prototype has the potential to travel up to 92 miles or for about 45 minutes on one tank of fuel and is expected to come with a hefty price tag of more than £45,000.
So far the bike, which weighs 270kgs, has only been tested while tethered to the ground to prevent it flying too high. But plans to test it's capabilities without any restrictions are set to go-ahead soon.
HOVERBIKE FACT FILE
* Airspeed - 150 knots
* Hover - 10,000ft (estimated)
* Dry weight - 110kg
* Max gross weight - 270kg
* Total thrust - 295kg
* Engine - 80kw @ 7500rpm
Mr Malloy explained: 'I am still ground testing at the moment only because I'm not 100 per cent sure what will happen so the straps are there to cover the unknown. I haven't had the pleasure of flying round the countryside yet.
'It is quite stable and doesn't want to tip over but if something unplanned happened during testing I wouldn't want to break the prototype.
'The Hoverbike was built with safety in mind so at least three components have to fail before you might have a serious airborne failure.
'There are also two explosive parachutes attached to the airframe and of course the rider could choose to wear their own parachute too.
Nice wheels: The Hoverbike is built from carbon fibre and can reach an altitude of 10,000ft and speeds of over 100mph
Mr Malloy is unwilling to reveal exactly how much he has spent on the project, but claims it is costing him roughly £140 a week.
He said the basic principle was similar to that of a Chinook helicopter and a normal motorbike.
He added: 'To lift off into a hover you just need to increase the thrust via a throttle grip with the right hand - exactly the same as the throttle on a motorbike.
'Flying forward involves a combination of an increase in thrust and the deflection of air from the front control vanes by twisting the left handle grip. You twist forward to accelerate and backwards to reverse.
'To make the bike turn left and right, all one needs to do is push the handle bars down on the side you wish to turn just like a bicycle.
'You could lean in the appropriate direction as you would on a motorbike but this isn't proving to be very sensitive.
'Having previous experience in a helicopter or plane would be a great help. That said, this is a new way to fly and one would need to learn to ride the hoverbike in much the same manner as a helicopter or riding a motorcycle.
'If you live in the USA or your country has similar civil aviation regulations, then the hoverbike will be classed as a 'ultralite' which means you do not need a pilot's license to fly it.'
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