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Malloy Aeronautics Hoverbike (defunct)

 

Hoverbike
Malloy Aeronautics Ltd 
Berkshire, United Kingdom
www.malloyaeronautics.com

In 2006, Chris Malloy, engineer and helicopter pilot, created, designed and tested a hoverbike, called Hoverbike P1, with a motorcycle styled seating arrangement and handle bars, which was powered by a with an internal combustion engine using mechanical gears to power the two propellers at each end of the aircraft. The Hoverbike P1's designed was inspired by the Chinook helicopter and at the time had an estimated range of 92 miles and was speculated the aircraft would be used for wildlife observation and search and rescue work. The Hoverbike P1 is now defunct. 

Several years later in 2012, Malloy then founded Malloy Aeronautics which is based near London, England. In the summer of 2014, the company used the fundraising Kickstarter website seeking a goal of £30,000.00 GBP ($47,133.00 USD) to be raised. However, the newly formed start-up got more money than their goal and raised a total of £64,000.00 GBP ($100,550.40 USD). 

Later, Malloy designed and tested a novel electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) quadcopter hoverbike aircraft which performed like a helicopter but was flown closer to the ground, and was safer and cheaper to operate. The name of this eVTOL aircraft was the Hoverbike P2. The full scale Hoverbike P2 had two forward and two aft vertical propellers and was made with a carbon fiber frame and propeller nacelles. Each pair of propellers has a partial overlap and when not in use they can be folded over each other to further reduce the aircraft to have a small parking footprint. The hoverbike is constructed of carbon sheet and aircraft-grade aluminum. It can be piloted with minimum training or fly autonomously and has a ‘Home’ button. It can carry a 130 kg (286 lb) payload at a speed of 96 km/h (60 mph) and has a ceiling of 9,988 feet (3,044 meters). The Hoverbike P2 aircraft is now defunct. 

At the time, the company stated the Hoverbike P2 was a low cost practical size lending itself to search and rescue, precision farming and cattle mustering, first-responder emergency services and cargo insertion into confined spaces. Also, the eVTOL aircraft could also be used for ski and mountain rescue, airborne logistics and time-sensitive personnel insertion/extraction during major disasters.

The third hoverbike made was a subscale collapsible remote controlled eVTOL called the Drone 3. Each pair of propellers has partial overlap and when not in use, the propellers can be folded over each other to further reduce the size of the aircraft fit into the a custom made container about the size a small backpack. The offset rotors also allow the protective frames to be employed as a support mounting for each other propeller. It maneuvers using only varying thrust. The remoted controlled Drone 3 subscale eVTOL is now defunct. 

In support of the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC), Malloy Aeronautics has been working collaboratively with SURVICE Engineering Company. It has a contract with the U.S. Army Research Laboratory and is one of the leading concepts for the Army’s Picatinny Pallet Sustainment Aerial Mobility Vehicle (SAMV). The company has now made several remotely piloted cargo drones for military use which are now officially called a Joint Tactical Aerial Resupply Vehicle (JTARV).

The company made the now defunct TRV-80 Joint Tactical Aerial Resupply Vehicle (or a military cargo resupply drone) which had a payload of 30kg (66lb). Their current Joint Tactical Aerial Resupply Vehicle is called the TRV-150 which has a maximum speed of 97 km/h (60 mph), a range of 70 km (43 miles) and with a maximum payload of 68 kg (140 lb). Their aircraft are built to rigorous military standards and can be used for both military and civilian missions. The TRV-150 propeller booms fold into a compact position to fit into a custom made suitcase for storage or vehicle transfer. A laptop is used to send the drone autonomously to your destination with no manual flying required.

In the future, Malloy Aeronautics will be focusing on only making larger capacity JTARV eVTOL aircraft for the military, commercial and private use. 

Hoverbike P1 Specifications (defunct):

  • Aircraft type: Gas powered VTOL prototype
  • Piloting: 1 pilot
  • Cockpit: Open with motorcycle styled seating 
  • Estimated range: 146 km (92 miles)
  • Estimated maximum altitude: 3,048 meters (10,000 feet) 
  • Propellers: 2
  • Internal combustion engine: 1 BMW engine
  • Airframe: Carbon fiber
  • Landing gear: Fixed skid type landing gear
  • This was the first prototype by the inventor and at the time, the range and maximum altitude for the aircraft were estimated specifications. 

Hoverbike P2 Specifications (defunct):

  • Aircraft type: eVTOL hoverbike prototype 
  • Piloting: 1 pilot 
  • Maximum payload: 130 kg (286 lb) 
  • Maximum speed: 96 km/h (60 mph)
  • Target range: 201 km (125 miles) 
  • Flight time: 30 minutes 
  • Propellers: 4 
  • Electric Motors: 4
  • Power source: Batteries 
  • Fuselage: Carbon fiber
  • Landing gear: Fixed skid landing gear 
  • Safety Features: Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP), provides safety through redundancy for its passengers and/or cargo. DEP means having multiple propellers and motors on the aircraft so if one or more motors or propellers fail, the other working motors and propellers can safely land the aircraft. 

Hoverbike Drone 3 Specifications (defunct):

  • Aircraft type: Subscale eVTOL remote controlled light payload cargo drone
  • Capacity: Light cargo only. Can take cargo above its fuselage or below its fuselage.
  • Cruise speed: 65 km/h (40 mph or 18 meters per second)
  • Maximum payload: 1.5 kg (3.3 lb) 
  • Range: 10-20 minutes 
  • Propellers: 4
  • Electric motors: 4
  • Landing gear: Fixed skid type landing gear 

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