Amateur inventor creates flying motorbike

Posted by Kate Taylor

An Australian man has invented what he says is the world's first flying motorbike, and is building it in his garage.

The Hoverbike is claimed to be able to reach a theoretical height of 10,000 feet - really - and fly at 100 miles per hour. It's based on much the same principles as a twin-propeller helicopter such as Boeing's Chinook.

Christopher Malloy says he's been building the vehicle for the last two years, using a custom-built carbon-fiber airframe and BMW engine. He's now at the testing stage, although so far he's only flown it tethered to the ground, at an altitude of just a few feet.

"With the limited ground testing done thus far the hoverbike has preformed exactly as predicted," he says.

"Because we do not know 100 percent what might happen during testing, the straps are there to cover the unknown. The hoverbike is quite stable and does not want to tip over - however, if something unplanned happens during testing, we don't want to break our prototype!"

The Hoverbike's designed with triple redundancy, says Malloy - three components need to fail before there could be a serious accident. If anything does go wrong, two parachutes are built into the airframe, he says.

Eventually, Malloy aims to sell the Hoverbike commercially, at a price of around $50,000. He sees uses in cattle mustering and search and rescue, as well as good old fun. It shouldn't need a pilot's  license in most countries, including the US, as it would be classed as an ultralight vehicle.