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Jedi Motorbike - YES!

IT may not be the speeder bike from Star Wars. But this hover-bike will get your pulse racing.

A California-based engineering firm has created a proof-of-concept hover-bike that is as finely tuned to the balance and movements of its rider as its traditional two-wheeled cousins.

Two ducted fans take the place of wheels. And the styling has nothing on the superbikes on our roads.

But this nimble craft puts true meaning to the phrase of "all-terrain vehicle".

It has already had manned flights of up to 15ft at 50km/h, weaving through trees, buildings and under bridges. And these Mojave Desert test flights have been dominated by caution - not exploring the true limits of its capabilities.

The hover-bike concept is not new.

It was tested - and abandoned - in the 1960s.

The apparently insurmountable problem was stability and control.

The craft would rollover and crash all too frequently.

But new, intuitive controls promise to make the craft so easy to fly that anybody can take the seat without pilot training.

The trick as applied by Aerofex is to mimic the movements and balance of riding a motorcycle or pushbike.

Two control bars have been put at knee level. As the rider leans one way or the other, the hover-bike responds - producing a natural sense of balance feedback.

"Since balancing movements are instinctive and constant, it plays out quite effortlessly," Mark De Roche, an aerospace engineer and founder of Aerofex, told InnovationNewsDaily.

A second, more advanced, test craft is due to be ready to fly in October.

But don't expect to be able to dodge toll roads, traffic snarls and then park on the office roof any time soon.

The company sees the craft as a test bed for future unmanned drones.

Aerofex sees them being used for battlefield medical evacuation, search and rescue and general work-horse roles.

The unmanned drone version is due to be ready by the end of next year

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Added: Aug-24-2012 Occurred On: Aug-24-2012
By: kuzak20
Tags: Hover, Bike, Jedi, Star Wars
Marked as: repost
Views: 5064 | Comments: 14 | Votes: 1 | Favorites: 2 | Shared: 0 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 2
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