Is the future of motorcycles up in the air as hoverbikes rather than on two wheels?
It seems so after two companies last year produced hoverbikes and one now has the mighty financial backing of the US Department of Defense.
First there was the two-seater Aero-X hoverbike and now UK company Malloy Aeronautics is building a solo-seater hoverbike.
Californian company Aerofex plans to have its Aero-X hoverbike available for sale in 2017, costing about $US85,000. They are now taking deposits.
The two-seater Aero-X is powered by a naturally-aspirated three–rotor rotary engine. It will hover up to 3m above the ground and reach speeds of about 70km/h. The hoverbike takes off vertically with no need for a run-up or landing strip.
Aerofex has been issued an international patent for its ducted-fan technology.
While they are using crowd-funding to develop and manufacture the hoverbike, Malloy Aeronautics has the extra boost of the US military.
They plan to develop the vehicle as a new class of Tactical Reconnaissance Vehicle or TRV.
Like the Hummer, which started as a military vehicle, this could eventually become a production vehicle for the masses.
It would certainly relieve some of the urban traffic chaos. Although it would add a whole new dimension of traffic chaos and could eventually require an army of air traffic controllers!
Malloy claims their hoverbike will be fast and capable of out-manoeuvering a helicopter. It looks like flying hoola hoops and there is no word on what powers the machine. But it basically is an oversized drone which the company specialises in making.
The makers say it takes off like a helicopter, will fly to an altitude of over 3000m and reach speeds of 100 knots (185km/h). It is also being designed to carry a much heavier payload than ordinary drones.
It is expected to have motorcycle-style controls and be ridden like a motorcycle.