I’d defy anyone to watch the scenes in Back to the Future, where Marty McFly shoots around on his hoverboard, and not think, “Man, I want one!”
Alas, like flying cars and other amazing products that we were promised decades ago would be reality by now, they’ve yet to hit the mainstream.
But that doesn’t mean we’re not getting there. We’re just doing it slowly.
Back in September, I told you about a “new era in aeronautics,” thanks to some pioneering innovation from British firm, Malloy Aeronautics, Ltd.
Specifically, the company has designed a Hoverbike quadcopter that “breaks new ground in terms of stability, reliability, movement, and versatility” and is also “able to carry heavier loads, while also boasting greater maneuverability than helicopters.”
Needless to say, such work hasn’t remained nestled quietly in the English countryside for long.
And at the recent Paris Airshow, it attracted the attention of a massive player – none other than the U.S. government…
Hoverbike Scores Big Deal With Department of Defense
Pioneered by Malloy Aeronautics Managing Director and helicopter pilot, Chris Malloy, the company’s “flying bike” is a true revolution in aeronautics technology.
Aside from the increased maneuverability and ability to carry heavier payloads, the Hoverbike can be used as both a manned and an unmanned vehicle. It can also fly at 9,000 feet and up to 100 knots, according to Malloy’s Sales and Marketing Director, Grant Stapleton.
The Hoverbike’s simpler, smaller design also allows it to enter environments where traditional helicopters would struggle. Stapleton says, “It’s inexpensive, it can carry a decent load, it can get in and out of very small spaces very quickly, and it can be moved across continents very quickly because it can be folded and packed into a C130 or a ship.”
All of that was enough to convince U.S. defense R&D firm, SURVICE Engineering – which boasts a big client in the U.S. Department of Defense.
At the Paris Airshow, Malloy and SURVICE announced a deal to develop the Hoverbike for the U.S. military.
SURVICE Corporate Director, Mark Butkiewicz, explains the decision: “The Department of Defense is interested in Hoverbike technology because it can support multiple roles. It can transport troops over difficult terrain, and when it’s not used in that purpose, it can also be used to transport logistics, supplies, and can operate in both a manned and unmanned asset. It can also operate as a surveillance platform.”
Take a look at the Hoverbike in action…
While Malloy Aeronautics will remain independent and stationed in the United Kingdom, the Hoverbike will be developed right here in Maryland – which will bring jobs to the state. Says Maryland Lieutenant Governor, Boyd Rutherford, “It’s a fascinating concept. I think there can be a lot of applications.”
Indeed, once the concept is proved for the military, Malloy ultimately hopes to expand the Hoverbike into the commercial and consumer markets.
The future is coming. Slowly… but it’s coming.