Hover vehicles are no longer part of some science fiction pipe dream. A new Kickstarter project, if successful, could bring them one step closer to reality.
In 2011, Malloy Aeronautics, an engineering company based out of the United Kingdom, introduced the Hoverbike. The vehicle, essentially a hybrid between a bicopter (it uses dual rotors) and a motorcycle, successfully lifted from the ground.
Credit: Malloy Aeronautics
Three years after the introduction of their machine, Malloy Aeronautics is ready to test the second generation of the Hoverbike. It differs from its predecessor by having four rotors (two overlapping on each end) instead of two. To do so, however, they're looking to raise £30,000—or approximately $51,000. The company has taken to popular crowdfunding platform Kickstarter to raise those funds and is offering a fantastic incentive to would-be supporters: a 1/3rd scale drone of the Hoverbike.
To get the fully-functional Hoverbike drones, backers would need to pledge £715 (roughly $1,200).
According to the company's project page, it hopes to "create a long term income stream" to continue the development of the manned Hoverbike.
The company has not yet announced when the vehicle will hit the market.
"It all depends on funding," Grant Stapleton, Marketing and Sales Director of Malloy Aeronautics, told Fusion. "We plan to start flight testing later this year. It will take many months of flight testing and after that probably about a year for certification. We plan to go into production immediately after certification."
Malloy Aeronautics isn't the only company working on bringing a hover vehicle to the consumer: Earlier this year, California-based Aerofex announced plans to make its own version of a hover vehicle commercially available in 2017.
Malloy Aeronautics said so far it has raised 10 percent of its projected target.
Fidel Martinez is an editor at Fusion.net. He's also a Texas native and a lifelong El Tri fan.