But what if you don’t want wheels? Motorized fun on land without them is a little more difficult; but if you’re keen, personal hovercrafts can be found too.
However, they’re noisy, not all that practical and unless you’re on water, you’re certain to look ridiculous. California-based company Aerofex is looking to change all that with their own land-based personal hovercraft, which is less fish-out-of-water and more Speeder Bike from Return of the Jedi.
According to the company’s blog, the project has been running since 2008, but has recently made significant progress resulting in video footage of the vehicle being released.
It doesn’t seem to have a name yet, and the design isn’t finalized, but that doesn’t stop it from being exciting. It looks like a massive motorcycle, but instead of wheels, it has two ducted fans to provide lift and drive.
Aerofex is working on making the hoverbike as easy to operate as possible, so it won’t use any special computer systems to maintain stability, relying instead on the same techniques used to ride a normal bike.
In contrast to the insane Malloy Hoverbike, which could reach an altitude of 10,000 feet and a speed of 173 miles-per-hour, Aerofex’s vehicle is far more sensible. So, while an altitude of 15 feet and a top speed of 30 miles-per-hour won’t get the heart pumping in the same way, it will at least minimize the chance of perishing in a huge fireball.
Reading through the company’s website, it’s clear they’re not really aiming the hoverbike at thrill-seekers anyway, as they mention fleets of first-response ‘bikes used by emergency teams, border patrols and even “aerial mustering” of livestock as possible uses.
However, the concept drawing of the next phase does make the hoverbike look far better, and a regular commercial version must surely be considered.
Aerofex hasn’t published any information on the potential release or the cost of its hoverbike, but it’s definitely a project to watch.