The United States Army has completed ‘flight’ tests of its first hoverbike prototype.
The bike, which is essentially an oversized quadcopter, took off from the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland on 10 January, reports Engadget.
The report adds that the bike started life as a Kickstarter project by Malloy Aeronautics. The project was eventually funded and it offered backers a hoverbike at the rock-bottom price of $595 (around Rs 41,000).
The US Army later expressed interest in the project, however, and signed a contract with Malloy. A defence company, Survice Engineering Co. assisted in the development of the bike, which became a project that was expanded to include the US Marine Corps.
The Military has dubbed the bike JTARV or Joint Tactical Aerial Resupply Vehicle, so that might mean it’s not fit for humans. However, the plan is to develop a hoverbike that could, eventually, transfer troops and supplies to where they’re needed.
The current prototype is reportedly very basic, with low range and payload. The military apparently hopes to fit the device with a hybrid engine that will extend the range to around 200 km and the payload to over 360kg.
Regardless of what the military says about the bike though, all I can think of is the Speeder Bike chase on Endor.