Aircraft

Don't try this at home: Colin Furze's crazy homemade hoverbike

Colin Furze has created a homemade hoverbike, and managed to avoid serious injury in the process
Colin Furze has created a homemade hoverbike, and managed to avoid serious injury in the process
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Furze's creation will fly, although it looks terrifyingly close to crashing most of the time
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Furze's creation will fly, although it looks terrifyingly close to crashing most of the time
The project was undertaken in collaboration with Ford
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The project was undertaken in collaboration with Ford
Colin Furze has created a homemade hoverbike, and managed to avoid serious injury in the process
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Colin Furze has created a homemade hoverbike, and managed to avoid serious injury in the process
The homemade hoverbike ready for liftoff
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The homemade hoverbike ready for liftoff
There were a few spills in the process of building the hoverbike
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There were a few spills in the process of building the hoverbike
The homemade hoverbike in action
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The homemade hoverbike in action

One well-known backyard inventor has proven common sense and engineering experience aren't prerequisites for creating crazy multicopters. By strapping a couple of two-stroke parajet motors and propellors to a metal frame, Colin Furze has built a DIY hoverbike that may not give Franky Zapata any sleepless nights, but looks like a sketchy alternative to creations like the Malloy Hoverbike or Aero-X.

The initial design of the craft had two motors and propellors mounted to the bottom of the frame and turning in the same direction, but Furze switched to an S-shaped metal frame that allowed each propellor to rotate in opposite directions. This design, which Furze compares to a Chinook's twin-rotor setup, was implemented because the counter rotation of the propellors cuts down on gyroscopic spin.

The final creation is able to lift its creator off the ground, albeit with little in the way of directional control or stability. As the team behind Yeair! discovered, two-stroke gasoline engines provide plenty of power but lack the lightning-quick response required to make the split-second adjustments required to maintain stable flight.

The homemade hoverbike in action
The homemade hoverbike in action

Whereas Yeair's design used an electric motor to provide instant torque to compensate, Furze's homegrown creation is far more low-tech and relies on its brave (or foolish) inventor's wrangling, and control of each individual throttle, to stay in the air. It makes for dramatic video, but also leads to a few crashes.

According to Furze, there was talk of adding a stabilization system, but the engines were already struggling to get him off the ground, and any more hardware would've simply been too heavy.

The project was funded by Ford who will be glad no-one was hurt during filming, but we'd still keep this firmly in the "don't try this at home" column.

A video of the bike's first flight is below, and the full development process has been mapped on Furze's YouTube channel.

Source: Colin Furze

Homemade Hoverbike

12 comments
Milton
i love this guy.
Martin Winlow
I bet you are just *top* of your neighbours' Christmas card list. You have little stability because the CoG of the machine + pilot is far too high. With a flex-wing microlight-type connection between pilot's weight and the rest of the machine you would be very stable and be able to control direction by simply moving the machine (and therefore its thrust) about the weight of the pilot. Why not (more) fully cage the props to stop them hitting stuff (including you!)? Have you done the calcs to see if you have properly matched props to motor/gearbox? Just bigger props may give more lift. Otherwise you just need more efficient motors - smaller & lighter per power output. Your existing setup runs out of puff beyond the advantage given by 'ground effect'... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ground_effect_(aerodynamics) Please don't kill yourself - some basic motorcycle-type clothing (esp a helmet with eye protection) would be a distinct advantage - I'm sure your Mum would agree.
Vandemataram
Wish we all are this crazy, don't hurt anybody & keep inventing. There is always a madness to creation
Paul Anthony
I love the style of this design.
Douglas Bennett Rogers
Fying in the face of helmet law!
sk8dad
Big fan here. Just don't dismember yourself, so you can keep coming up with these wonderfully entertaining devices.
mike65401
Cool, but it seems he would have a much better time if he used the slow response twin gas engines for the main lifting force and added four (or eight) smaller, quicker responding, electric motors for fine control.
mike65401
If thats not a clip on tie, then he's dumber than I thought. Having anything tied around your throat when you are working around any type of machinery is stupid.
frogola
i think ford was pretty cool for funding this.
Cici
This is one of the most interesting things I have seen in my entire life *claps* you are an Amazing inventor keep making things that are very interesting like this homemade hover bike keep being cool :) - Cici