Hoversurfing the Skies
A Russian drone start-up called Hoversurf just posted a video unveiling a prototype for a single-seat aircraft that you can drive yourself.
Dubbed the Scorpion-3, the electric-powered hoverbike is capable of lifting itself and a driver into the air. It combines a traditional motorcycle design with quadcopter technology, allowing both professionals and amateurs to easily control and maneuver the vehicle.
Using proprietary software, the company is able to limit the range and velocity of the hoverbike to ensure the safety of the driver. Aesthetically, the vehicle was inspired by the heavy-duty motorbike frames typically used in extreme games. The difference is that the Scorpion-3 has the ability to “surf through the air by changing altitude and direction,” its creators explain on their website.
While it is the first manned quadcopter that has undergone testing, the Scorpion-3 isn’t the only one that has been built so far.
Dubai is hoping that it will be able to launch a self-driving hover-taxi in a few months, which will be used to support an official public transport service by the middle of the year. The U.S. military, in partnership with Malloy Aeronautics, also has a prototype for a hoverbike that can help resupply soldiers on the battlefield. Meanwhile, Aerofex has a passenger-ready, low-altitude vehicle called the Aero-X that has the potential to be used for everything from leisure to search-and-rescue missions.
Hoversurf wants to position the Scorpion-3 for extreme sports, but an airborne vehicle with exposed propeller blades can prove to be a little unnerving, even for the most experienced X-gamer. With a little more refinement, though, the company should have no trouble meeting its goals.