‘Star Wars’-style speeders could carry US troops


You remember the speeder bikes in Star Wars, which rushed through the air? Soldiers and Marines can get to zoom around the battleground in a kind of real-life version in the not-so-distant future.

The new vehicle (which flies with rotors) has been dubbed the Joint Tactical Aerial Resupply Vehicle, or JTARV. Malloy Aeronautics, and SURVIVE Engineering Company to develop Malloy’s Hoverbike for the U.S. Army Research Laboratory.

Why the interest in a Hoverbike for the American ground forces?

The AMERICAN army is of the opinion that it might be able to wear teams fast and agile in the battlespace, and a robot version can also be used for the supply of the supplies by itself.

This flying motorcycle three options: it can be flown by a warfighter; it could fly itself around with the help of advanced autonomy; or a blend can be applied where a warfighter to fly and leave the smart car has a number of his own fly.

What is it?

The Hoverbike started in a garage in Sydney, Australia. The new Zealander Chris Malloy started as a hobby, but quickly gained traction in the market.

Most of the original Hoverbike frame is hand-crafted from Kevlar, carbon fiber and aluminum with a foam core.

The design is similar to a quadcopter. It has four standard helicopter-style shrouded rotors, and they overlap each other and help ensure stability.

The full-size Hoverbike, it will be possible to use a motor and control. It may end up as big as a small car. The current mini-prototype is managed in a way that is similar to that of a hobbyist quadcopter. The smaller version makes use of electric motors and a standard RC helicopter controller can be used to send.

The Hoverbike has entered the third generation of the development. For improved reliability and continuity, this generation has a multi-engine redundancy and special yaw control, in addition to other developments.

The chassis is customizable so that it can be quickly adapted for specific missions.

Speeder bike with smarts

There is a fully organic option – so this is a speeder bike that can fly itself. The high degree of autonomy also means that learning to drive it should be relatively easy. It can be adjusted to vary how much input from the pilot would like to give; it calibrates how much auto-pilot, a warfighter wants.

The AMERICAN military Hoverbikes can be programmed with simple waypoint to waypoint navigation and fly between the points and may even eventually avoid obstacles on its own.

Picture Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia to fight with the enemy soldiers in the iconic chase scene in “Return of the Jedi”, while on a speeder bike. Luke and Leia had to fly their speeder bike and navigate in a forest while returning fire. But the American soldiers could take the Hoverbike to do the work for them and instead focus on the return of the fire.

Hoverbikes in war

It is also designed to covertly in a number of ways.

Since it flies through the air, in place stations on the ground, it has a very small physical footprint. The operational envelope is under the radar. For a reduced acoustic signature, it is designed to minimize propeller tip noise of the shrouded fans.

And what’s more, it is not necessary for the start-and landing runways or the traditional landing zones, giving it more flexibility.

The full-sized prototype could travel at a speed of around 100 km / h. A tank of gas would yield approximately 45 minutes of the transport.

Gunfight supply

Rectangular, the prototype is expected to be large enough to carry up to 300 pounds of supplies, or a warfighter, body armor and equipment. With that weight, it can currently travel about 10 km before refueling.

In gunplay, ammo can hit quickly and resupply is important and time sensitive. Currently, helicopters are used to drop from these urgent deliveries, but also in the future a JTARV could out place.

In the end, the hope that it could achieve and sustain, anywhere in the combat zone within 30 minutes.


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Cattle, commuting and outside

How could the Hoverbike to be used in the civilian world?

Besides being fun, it can be used for agriculture or the management of the cattle, as two commercial applications. It may even be a vehicle of choice to get to work and avoid the commute. Once the test is completed, the company intends to submit is the prototype for the certification by the aviation authorities for use in civilian airspace.

The latest full-sized prototype is the completion of the construction and begin flight tests in a few months.

Allison Barrie consults at the highest levels of defence, travelled more than 70 countries, is a lawyer with four postgraduate degrees and now is the author of the new book “the Future of Weapons: Access Granted” for invisible tanks by thought-controlled fighter jets. Click here for more information about FOX Firepower columnist and host Allison Barrie and you can follow her on Twitter @allison_barrie.

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