Backyard inventor and Youtube personality Colin Furze is internet famous for creating dangerous contraptions like a thermite canon, a spring-loaded bed, and the world’s fastest mobility scooter. Despite an apparent death wish, the Brit’s body is still intact and he regularly posts videos of his workshop exploits online. This week Furze revealed his latest invention and the one that’s most likely to make him lose a leg – a homemade hoverbike.
Furze’s hoverbike design is either an incredibly crude contraption or a marvel of minimalism, depending on how you look at it. A simple metal frame encases two motors and propellers. There’s no seat, no steering, and no built-in way to brake other than leaping from the machine like Mum just called for dinner. The hoverbike is controlled like an aerial Segway – by titling his weight forward, backward, and side-to-side, a rider can manipulate the machine in this and that direction. The movements aren’t always smooth. In fact, Furze crashes quite a bit. But, after some practice, he seems to get a hang of it and walks away with limbs intact.
The project was sponsored by Ford’s “#unlearn” campaign in the U.K., which asks people to forget their preconceived notions about the automotive brand and about what people can achieve in general. Furze –who claims to lack any engineering qualifications or flying experience– may be the perfect poster child for the campaign.
Riders may find airtime on less makeshift machines in the near future. U.K.-based Malloy Aeronautics is developing a hoverbike for the US Department of Defense. And California-based Aerofex is set to launch their Aero-X hoverbike for the consumer market in 2017. Meanwhile, Furze’s invention won’t likely be manufactured any time soon, but perhaps if we’ve unlearned everything we knew about Ford, they may add it to their fleet.