After a few years of development the company Aerofex finally unveiled an actual working hoverbike. For thrill seekers who loved the speeder bike chase scene from Star Wars: Episode VI: Return Of The Jedi, this is great news.
Of course, this real-life hoverbike won’t zip around at insane speeds as seen in that Star Wars film but it really works and that is a plus. The hoverbike from Aerofex has a maximum altitude of 15 feet and its fastest speed is just thirty miles per hour. No, it’s hard to imagine Return Of The Jedi’s high-velocity races with this hoverbike, but its altitude and speed is much more practical and safer. In fact, Aerofex is targeting the vehicles for use by emergency first-response units and not thrill seekers.
The vehicle looks more compact and practical than the speeder bike or the swoop bikes (briefly seen in Star Wars Episode II and IV-the so-called Special Edition). Similar to a motorcycle, the pilot steers the hoverbike by leaning from side to side. The company worked out the kinks that plagued the hoverbike when it was first tested in 2008, such as maneuverability and the problem of “helicopter brownout”. That is when the recirculated air from the vehicle’s blades, which provide lift, kick up blinding clouds of dust.
Aerofex is now working on an upgrade to their hoverbike that will have improved landing gear and a better positioning for the pilot. The company hasn’t released information on the availability or final cost of the hoverbike.
Sure, it’s a long way to go from those zipping models seen in Return Of The Jedi and the other Star Wars films but we’re getting there with this real-life hoverbike.