Aircraft

Aero-X hoverbike set to take off in 2017

Aerofex says its Aero-X hoverbike will be available to buy in 2017 (Photo: Aerofex)
Aerofex says its Aero-X hoverbike will be available to buy in 2017 (Photo: Aerofex)
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The Aero-X hoverbike is around 4.5 m (14.8 ft) in length and 2.1 m (6.8 ft) in width (Photo: Aerofex)
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The Aero-X hoverbike is around 4.5 m (14.8 ft) in length and 2.1 m (6.8 ft) in width (Photo: Aerofex)
Aerofex says its Aero-X hoverbike will be available to buy in 2017 (Photo: Aerofex)
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Aerofex says its Aero-X hoverbike will be available to buy in 2017 (Photo: Aerofex)
The design features an intuitive pilot interface, two-position control bars and a four-wheel gear (Photo: Aerofex)
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The design features an intuitive pilot interface, two-position control bars and a four-wheel gear (Photo: Aerofex)
Aero-X will able to carry two people up to a height of 3 m (10 ft) above the ground and reach speeds of up to 72 km/hr (42 mph) (Photo: Aerofex)
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Aero-X will able to carry two people up to a height of 3 m (10 ft) above the ground and reach speeds of up to 72 km/hr (42 mph) (Photo: Aerofex)
With a pre-fuel weight of about 356 kg (785 lb), the hoverbike can carry loads of up to 140 kg (310 lb) (Photo: Aerofex)
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With a pre-fuel weight of about 356 kg (785 lb), the hoverbike can carry loads of up to 140 kg (310 lb) (Photo: Aerofex)
It's expected to run for about 1 hour and 15 minutes on a full tank of fuel (Photo: Aerofex)
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It's expected to run for about 1 hour and 15 minutes on a full tank of fuel (Photo: Aerofex)
Whole vehicle airbags and flotation pontoons for water operations are some of the additional features being considered (Photo: Aerofex)
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Whole vehicle airbags and flotation pontoons for water operations are some of the additional features being considered (Photo: Aerofex)
With carbon fiber rotors taking the place of wheels, the Aero-X will be able to take-off and land vertically without the need for a runway or forward speed (Photo: Aerofex)
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With carbon fiber rotors taking the place of wheels, the Aero-X will be able to take-off and land vertically without the need for a runway or forward speed (Photo: Aerofex)

That most long-awaited form of transport may finally be arriving with California-based Aerofex announcing that it'll be launching its Aero-X hoverbike in 2017 at an estimated price of US$85,000 (+CPI). The company is already accepting refundable deposits of $5,000 on its website, with first flights scheduled for 2016. The Aero-X is designed to carry two people up to a height of 3 m (10 ft) above the ground and reach speeds of up to 72 km/h (42 mph).

Aerofex has been testing its hoverbike for some time now, attempting to resolve various control and stability challenges. With carbon fiber rotors taking the place of wheels, the Aero-X will be able to take-off and land vertically without the need for a runway or forward speed, according to the company.

It's also reported to be as easy to ride as a motorcycle, as pilots will be able to use the handlebar grips, situated at knee level, to control the hoverbike in a similar fashion. They'll only need about a weekend of training to be able to fly it easily, the company claims.

With carbon fiber rotors taking the place of wheels, the Aero-X will be able to take-off and land vertically without the need for a runway or forward speed (Photo: Aerofex)
With carbon fiber rotors taking the place of wheels, the Aero-X will be able to take-off and land vertically without the need for a runway or forward speed (Photo: Aerofex)

With a pre-fuel weight of about 356 kg (785 lb), the hoverbike can carry loads of up to 140 kg (310 lb) over any any type of surface, state company officials. It's also expected to run for about 75 minutes on a full tank of fuel. While it's primarily being designed to be a low-altitude sport and utility vehicle, its developers say it can be adapted for any number of uses.

"The Aero-X will have a positive impact on agriculture, herd management, and geo-surveying – particularly in those parts of the world lacking general aviation," states Mark De Roche, the company's CTO and founder. "Its intuitive operation, low cost, and unique capabilities make it suitable for disaster relief, search and rescue, and patrolling borders and game parks. We believe it will enable low-altitude utility previously unavailable due to cost and training barriers."

The design features an intuitive pilot interface, two-position control bars and a four-wheel gear. The Aero-X hoverbike is around 4.5 m (14.8 ft) in length and 2.1 m (6.8 ft) in width. Some of the additional features being considered for the Aero-X include whole vehicle airbags, flotation pontoons for water operations and Department of Transport-approved transport trailers.

Source Aerofex Via IEEE

21 comments
GiolliJoker
Well, this: http://www.gizmag.com/hoverbike/18813/ looks way better, but it seems to be in development hell for lack of funding... Good luck to Aero-X anyway!
Daishi
Of course they are taking deposits 3 years in advance. Their claims are almost certifiably nonsense. Those deposits probably aren't refundable if the company files bankruptcy and if the company fails to deliver in 2017 that might be a likely outcome. They wouldn't be taking deposits for units they don't even project to start shipping until 2017 if they weren't struggling for operating cash. In the video they have posted they went to the salt flats to string together a bunch of footage of them struggling to go 20 feet at a time. They took 4 seconds of flight time, then ran it in slow mo from 3 different angles and that was a trained driver under very forgiving conditions. 75 minute flight time? "positive impact on agriculture, herd management, and geo-surveying"? They cross the line from exaggeration into nonsense. Butterfly runs circles around this thing for a lot less money and they actually have models in production now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vFaHjrw76I The ultralight is only 22k assembled and 18k as a kit.
wle
about 1 mpg great
Island Architect
Bravo, what fun! I guess that I'd want some screens to keep little fingers out of the way. Bill
sleat
Entire RV8 airplanes can be had for ~$85,000, and can go much further, much faster, with better fuel economy. And they can do aerobatics. And are pretty much guaranteed to be delivered and supported for that price.
John Sorensen
$85 Grand for another big toy? I don't see anything new here. There have been hovercraft for 50+ years. They may be fun riding in a big wide-open area, but they still can't be controlled well enough to ride in traffic or in a heavy wood. I'll keep my motorcycle.
Richard Stutheit
Hoverbike, needs safety cage over rotors and jet for speed. not practical as it stands, might check with Boeing for computer controls they use in the F16 type that control functions much better than manual for stability.
nesep
Two people, but total load of 310 pounds, including fuel. Either two small naked individuals, or the operator isn't counted as part of the load. Why have four wheels?
Jay Finke
Looks like it needs a handlebar basket on it to carry cats in.
Ed
Seems useful for lopping off the heads of small animals and children!