Project: Hoverbike - a full scale, flying prototype
Are there flying motorcycles in our future? Help me build a full scale prototype for testing and research.
Help me as I continue the research & development into building a HOVERBIKE.
"Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads."
- Dr. Emmett Brown, from Back to the Future
Imagine a day when travel takes place in the 3rd dimension, where you would commute to work above the surface of our planet, in a place free of roads... and avoiding all traffic jams!
I believe that day is here, the day of the hoverbike!
For nearly the last decade, I have been developing a concept hoverbike that is both beautiful and bad ass... a one seater, gyro stabilized, all electric machine in the style of a motorcycle. Ultimately the technology isn't all that different from a multicopter or drone. The 1/9 scale model has been built and is nearly perfected, but now is the time to continue my research by building the full scale prototype.
Check out my progress so far: http://www.HoverbikeProject.com
Below is a list of similar companies/people working on similar technology.
- Chris Malloy's hoverbike
- Technodat F Bike
- Martin Jetpack
- Moller International
- Trek Aerospace
Like most people, I was exhilarated when I saw the speeder bikes from Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. I remember as a kid trying to figure out how one could ever exist. As I grew up, I toyed with the idea occasionally, but got serious about it in 2002 when I moved to San Diego and was disgusted with the highways. Since then, I have been designing and redesigning the concept.
The current 1/9 scale prototype is actually based on Nilo Rodis' original concept of the speeder bikes, but of course using modern technology. It has taken a while to get to this point where the prototype is almost flying. With some minor tweaks in the front fan stabilization, it should be in the air shortly.
The full scale hoverbike will be very similar to the 1/9 scale model that I have constructed, in which the center of gravity is below and slightly forward of the two lift points in the rear.
The body will be comprised of aluminum and carbon fiber, and will utilize dual 10kW electric motors with propellers at each lift point. The 2 sets of rear fans will be the workhorses and provide the bulk of the lifting, whereas the front fans will provide stabilization, but will also provide forward motion by decreasing speed. A series of vanes will also be added to the front fan so that the hoverbike will be able to rotate left and right. The LiPO4 batteries and the electronics will be housed in the rear section behind the seat and between the rear fans.
With the addition of the third set of fans, and by making the vehicle in a triangular pattern, there is added stabilization.
Is it safe???
As we all know, anything that takes to the sky could end in disaster. This is why testing and research are so important and must be done, especially in technology as new as hoverbikes, which are essentially scaled up versions of quadcopters. Many small personal aircraft have propelled chutes in the event of an emergency, such as motor failure, and eventually this hoverbike will also implement such precautionary measures.
How does it stay balanced? Wont it flip over?
There are a series of gyros that will work inline with the motor controllers, and calibration is ultimately the key to the whole craft being balanced. A gust of wind might rock the hoverbike, but the gyros would immediately speed up or slow down the corresponding motors until balance is regained. Since the gyros work in real time, their reactions occur with the slightest tilt.
How can you help?
Some of the items needed to build the full scale model will be:
- (6) Brushless electric motors - 2 for each lift point, each with their own propeller.
- LiPO4 batteries - these are expensive, but durable, lightweight and powerful.
- carbon fiber
- various electronic components (motor controllers, gyros, computer, GPS, touchscreen, sensors, cables, connectors, etc...)
- and finally... a place to build it all. To date, I have had to work out of my apartment.
Who am I?
My name is Michael C. Poole, and I was born and raised in the middle of a cornfield in Ohio. I spent many years in my dad's machine shop building this and modifying that, but in 1996 I joined the Navy to serve my country and travel the world. After about a decade, I ended my military career and settled down in sunny San Diego. I have since earned Bachelor's degrees in IT, Filmmaking and Visual Effects, an Associates in Graphic Design, and I am currently pursuing an Electrical Engineering degree.
In 2007 I learned of electric motorcycles, but discovered that there was little to no information available online. So I started ElMoto.net - the electric motorcycle forum. People now visit from around the globe to discover out the ins and outs and how to build your own electric motorcycle, and I have since built 2 myself.
Thank you very much for taking the time to check out my Kickstarter campaign,
Risks and challenges
This whole project is a risk and a challenge, but I have been plugging away at it slowly for years now to get to this point. Without the full amount of money, it will only take longer to build, but one way or another... it will get built. The design and the placement of the 3 lift points has changed very little since inception, unless you take into consideration that I redesigned and simplified the frame to be lighter, easier, faster and without a doubt, cheaper to build.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (44 days)