Hoverbike Brings Return of the Jedi to Life

Chris Malloy of Australia has developed a hoverbike that looks strikingly familiar. This is the first generation prototype that has some definite similarities to the science fiction floating cycles seen in the Lucas film. It is not currently in production, but Chris hopes to bring them to market in about a year. The bike is classified as an ultralite, so there is currently no need of a pilot's license to operate one.

The bike flies via two ducted propellers, one in the front and back. There is no need for a tail rotor, because the propellers spin in opposite directions. The engine is a 1,170 cc 4-stroke that is capable of taking the hoverbike to altitudes of up to 10,000 feet and speeds of up to 173 miles per hour. The bike hasn't undergone flight and safety testing, so we won't be surprised if that pushes back the product launch by at least another year.

It looks impressive with its sleek Kevlar coated body, but we are not likely to see any flying around the forest any time soon. Thrill seekers will have to wait a while before they can actually experience the hoverbike for themselves. One concern we have about the bike's design is the open duct area above the front and rear propellers. It seems like important body parts might accidentally get chopped off if they happen to fall in. The price is estimated to be $40,000, but that is likely to change as we get closer to the actual release.

[via Oh Gizmo]