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Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Real Aerofex Hoverbike

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Date: Sat, Jun 1, 2013 at 8:02 AM
Subject: [] The Real Aerofex Hoverbike

The Real Aerofex Hoverbike
A resurrected hover vehicle won't fly through dense forests as effortlessly
as the "Star Wars" speeder bikes from "Return of the Jedi," but its intuitive
controls could someday allow anyone to fly it without pilot training.
The aerial vehicle resembles a science fiction flying bike with two ducted rotors
instead of wheels, but originates from a design abandoned in the 1960s because
of stability and rollover problems.
Aerofex, a C ali fornia-based firm, fixed the stability issue by creating a mechanical
system controlled by two control bars at knee-level that allows the vehicle to
respond to a human pilot's leaning movements and natural sense of balance.
"It essentially captures the translations between the two in three axis (pitch,
roll and yaw), and activates the aerodynamic controls required to counter the
movement which lines the vehicle back up with the pilot," De Roche told
Innovation News Daily. "Since [the pilot's] balancing movements are instinctive
and constant, it plays out quite effortlessly to him."
But Aerofex does not plan to immediately develop and sell a manned version.
Instead, the aerospace firm sees the aerial vehicle as a test platform for new
unmanned drones heavy-lift robotic workhorses that could use the same hover
technology to work in agricultural fields, or swiftly deliver supplies to
search-and-rescue teams in rough terrain.
Even the soldiers or Special Forces might use such hover drones to carry or
deliver heavy supplies in the tight spaces between buildings in cities. U.S.
Marines have already begun testing robotic helicopters to deliver supplies in
The hovering drones would not fly as efficiently as helicopters because of their
shorter rotor blades, but their enclosed rotors have the advantage of a much
smaller size and safety near humans.
"They are less efficient than a helicopter, which has the benefit of larger diameter rotors," De Roche explained. "They do have unique performance advantages, though,
as they have demonstrated flight within trees, close to walls and under bridges."
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Saudi Arabia