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Hoverbike II - Aerofex Aerial ATV

By: on August 21, 2012
$85k
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As if a Hoverbike Part I weren't mind-blowing enough, Manhattan Beach aerospace engineering firm Aerofex is tossing its own aerial ATV prototype into the pool of flying bikes most recently filled by Australian fabricator Chris Malloy. (Malloy, by the way, is still raising funds to complete testing and refinement of his Hoverbike. Once he reaches $1.1 million AUD, he will give the aircraft away to the backer he deems most deserving.) Aerofex's speeder bike-esque incarnation of two ducted rotors and a mechanical system that responds to the lean and pitch of its pilot's body, seems to be just one more in a long line of clues, including the Galactic Republic Passport, that George Lucas' next Star Wars installation is going to be a reality show.

The intuitive mechanics of Aerofex's Hoverbike serves as the foundation of its potential brilliance for practical use. Similar to Malloy's vision, Aerofex imagines doctors, soldiers, law enforcement officers, and border patrol agents putting the Hoverbike's simple operation and handling to use during everything from search and rescue missions to daily duties. Traditional pilot training will not be necessary, as the bike shrugs off complex electronics, such as artificial intelligence and flight software.

Unfortunately, Aerofex's more immediate goal is to develop an unmanned Hoverbike--one that drones can fly to deliver supplies or, again like Malloy's aircraft, use to work in agriculture. Figures. Out of caution, Aerofex has also limited current Hoverbike testing to heights of 15 feet and speeds of about 30 mph.

So how does the Hoverbike stack up to other fancies of flight? As mentioned earlier, it is much easier to learn to use than most aircraft, and responds directly to the pilot's weight and body movements. And while its closest relative, the helicopter, is far more efficient due to its longer rotor blades, the Hoverbike triumphs in maneuverability. It has successfully flown between trees, close to walls, and under bridges. It is also safer to take off and land in relatively close proximity to standers by.

May 2014 Update: Aerofex has advanced its Hoverbike R&D to a realistic design set for production and public sale. Rebranded the Aero-X, the company is now accepting applications and $5,000 placeholder deposits for the personal flying machine here. Aerofex anticipates a 2017 Aero-X release.

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Sick in the Head: The 10 Coolest Motorcycle Helmets

Some people say you're sick in the head for riding a motorcycle. I say you're sick in the head if you're wearing one of these motorcycle helmets. And I mean it in the very, very best sense of the word. Here are my picks...

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The TRON Light Cycle

Discontinued

Yeah, it costs more than twice the country's 2011 median income, but two little words make it worth every penny: Street. Legal. If you can convince the bank, or your mom, to spot you the cash, a living, breathing replica...

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Motoped Survival Bike

$2,499 - $3,149 from Motoped »

Universal mounting rack. Three gallons of fuel. In critical times, Motoped's Survival Bike puts escape in the hands of your feet. The military-inspired superhauler has a back rack assembly primed for multiple bolt-on...

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RYNO One Wheel Motorcycle

$5,295 from RYNO Motors »

Ever wanted to pop a perpetual wheelie? Well get ready, 'cause RYNO Motors is in production and set for the 2012 US release of two tiers of its self-balancing, single-wheeled, shit-stirring beast of a motorcycle. OK...

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Gunbus 410 - World's Biggest Motorcycle

A Texas-sized hog made in southwest Germany. Leonhardt Manufacturing's Gunbus 410 owns the current title of World's Biggest (Running) Motorcycle. That means you can really own and operate the steel-and-aluminum behemoth...

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NUVIZ HUD for Motorcycle Helmets

$499 from NUVIZ »

If you're not lucky enough to be selected by Skully to beta test their HUD motorcycle helmet, you might consider joining the line to own the NUVIZ take on motorcycle Head-Up Display. The NUVIZ Ride:HUD, a joint venture...

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The Dark Knight Rises Motorcycle Suit

$1,545 from UD Replicas »

Answer: As a souped-up sick UD Replicas Motorcycle Suit. Question: What is one more way in which the Dark Knight rises? Designed especially for the latest Batman trilogy's epic conclusion, the Dark Knight Rises Motorcycle...

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Hoverbike

$50k from Hoverbike »

The Hoverbike is what happens when one really wants to be a superhero, but really needs to figure out a way to more efficiently herd cattle. Aussie Chris Malloy has created a prototype for this motorcycle-helicopter hybrid...

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BW650 Motorcycle

You might have seen Daryl Dixon riding around your TV on a Classified Moto build. And like their Walking Dead Motorcycle, the company's BW650 is a stylized, sick, and even sexy beast....

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LEVITAT Aerial Mat & Hammock

$100 - $159 from LEVITAT »

Unplug and relax in an oasis for one (or 3) or sweat it out walking the edge and striking a scissor leg side crow pose in the center of the LEVITAT aerial mat and hammock. This combo fitness tool and lounger latches to...

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Dodge Tomahawk Motorcycle

Discontinued

Technically, Dodge debuted its Tomahawk, a motorcycle with 4 wheels, a Dodge Viper engine, and top speed capabilities of 420 mph, a decade ago at the 2003 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Really though...

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Boba Fett Motorcycle Helmet

Unlike a few selections in this slideshow of sick motorcycle helmets, you can probably wear HJC's new RPHA 11 Boba Fett helmet without getting laughed off the road (it's an obvious, but not over-the-top Star Wars circus...