Aerofex Hover Bike Resembles Star Wars Speeder
Aerofex Brings the Star Wars Speeder Bike to Life
Though science fiction fans have been teased before with the notion of a product resembling the futuristic devices from their favorite science fiction films, see also Nike’s not-actually-self-tying replication of the self-tying shoes from Back to the Future II, a model similar to the Star Wars speeder bike featured in Return of the Jedi might just be on the verge of the becoming a reality.
The vehicle, currently being worked on by California-based Aerofex, is based upon a design from the 60′s that had been terminated due to stability and rollover issues. Aerofex was able to fix these design problems by installing a mechanical system that forces the movement of the vehicle to correspond to the leaning movements of the pilot. Seen below being tested in a barren landscape that recalls Tattooine, (it’s really California’s Mojave Desert) the vehicle uses a control bar set at knee level to help capture the leaning movements of the pilot. If all of this sounds a lot like the Star Wars speeder bike featured on Endor in Return of the Jedi, you wouldn’t be alone in that thought, as the similarities have been noted by several news outlets.
Despite the similarities to the Lucas Films creation however, Aerofex’s Hover Vehicle is far from a vanity project. The invention, which uses two ducted rotors and can levitate up to 15 feet off the ground at a speed of 30 miles an hour, has a myriad of practical uses. Aerofex hopes that its intuitive controls could one day allow just about anyone to pilot them without the need for extensive flight training or preparation. Such an advancement could allow for doctors to visit patients in rural areas without roads and border patrolmen to do their job without having to take flight training. The Aerofex Hover Vehicle could, at a later date, be incredibly useful for saving both lives and money.
At the moment though, Aerofex is not planning on developing or releasing a manned version of the craft. Instead, the company plans to use the vehicle to test unmanned drones, which could be provided to the military and be used to work agricultural fields and deliver supplies to rough terrain areas. Aerofex is preparing an unmanned version of the craft for flight testing by the end of the coming year. Unfortunately, it looks to be a little longer before geeks will be able to use a manned version of the craft to recreate their favorite scenes from Return of the Jedi.
View the Aerofex flight log here: http://flightlog.aerofex.com/