Tags: military | hoverbikes | prototype | department of defense

Military Hoverbike Could Soon Be a Reality Thanks to New Army Initiative

By    |   Wednesday, 24 June 2015 08:42 AM

Military hoverbikes could become all the rage in just a few years if a recently announced U.S. Department of Defense initiative comes to fruition.

Malloy Aeronautics, a U.K. development company that has already created a hoverbike prototype, and SURVICE Engineering, a defense research and development firm based in Maryland, have teamed up with the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, C-Net reported. The deal, announced last week at the International Paris Air Show, means the trio will be working together to open an office in Harford County, Maryland, devoted to creating a military hoverbike, Maryland Lieutenant Gov. Boyd Rutherford said.

“There are a lot of advantages of the Hoverbike over a regular helicopter,” Grant Stapleton, Malloy’s marketing sales director, said, according to Reuters. “There's safety — with adducted rotors you immediately not only protect people and property if you were to bump into them, but if you ever were to bump into somebody or property it's going to bring the aircraft out of the air. So there's a considerable safety level which is a considerably high level of safety involved there."

“The other thing is cost," Stapleton continued. "This is much less expensive to buy a Hoverbike and much less expensive to run. It can do so much inexpensively and effectively as a multi-purpose product that can be flown manned or unmanned."

Mark Butkiewicz, SURVICE spokesman, commented on why the U.S. Defense Department is interested in developing Malloy’s initial carbon fiber and foam prototype.

“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 it can operate in both a manned and unmanned asset. It can also operate as a surveillance platform," he told Reuters.

Rutherford continued to enumerate the hoverbike’s value, emphasizing that the project will also bring employment opportunities to Maryland.

“It's a fascinating concept," he said. "I've seen the demonstration, the video demonstration. I think there can be a lot of applications, and maybe I'll be the fifth or sixth person to ride it. I'm going to wait until a couple of people ride it before me."

If the project is successful, Malloy Aeronautics may also start to develop hoverbike technology for the civilian consumer market.


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Military hoverbikes could become all the rage in just a few years if a recently announced U.S. Department of Defense initiative comes to fruition.
military, hoverbikes, prototype, department of defense
Wednesday, 24 June 2015 08:42 AM
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