‘Hagrid,’ said Dumbledore, sounding relieved. ‘At last. And where did you get that motorbike?’
‘Borrowed it, Professor Dumbledore, sir,’ said the giant, climbing carefully off the motorbike as he spoke. ‘Young Sirius Black lent it to me.’
There was no end to the things that made the wizarding world of Harry Potter fascinating. But Hagrid’s bike (yes, I know technically it belonged to Black) really caught the attention.
First of all, it was a BIKE. Second of all, it could fly for heaven’s sake!
So, imagine me moseying along with the internet when I read this good ole line: ‘Joint Tactical Aerial Resupply Vehicle a step closer’.
To decode it for you in a simpler term, it means hoverbikes are much closer to reality than we thought.
Hoverbikes – Flying Motorcycle like Hagrids’
The world’s first flying motorcycle is in the making people. Move over spaceflights, I’d rather have a bike that flies!
Last year the US Department of Defense decided to turn Hoverbikes into reality. A research and development contract from the U.S. Army Research Laboratory was taken up by the firms Malloy Aeronautics (MA) and SERVICE.
MA is a private engineering firm in the UK while the company SURVICE is based out of Maryland, US. They began by taking the design concept of a motorcycle and the machinery of a helicopter and putting it together.
This gave birth to a bi-copter hoverbike which was later changed to a quadcopter design. Basically, they moved from 2 propellers flying the bike to 4.
Why did they do so?
At present they do not have the technological know-how to produce a hoverbike with just 2 propellers that is safe and cheap enough to manufacture. They named this hoverbike “Tactical Reconnaissance Vehicle (TRV)” because it could be used by the army to scout a new area.
This video shows the test flight of the hover-bike. First, they built a 1/3rd model of the TRV and tested it. Then they tested the actual TRV, unmanned. During the end of the video, you get to see a man actually flying the hover-bike, though it is still pegged to the ground for safety sakes.
Which I assumed meant they wanted the pilot/rider (or maybe pider? rilot?) to be safe. Turns out they are even more worried about the prototype. They don’t want it to be broken during any manned testing hence, the restrains.
As the design improved, they realized that the hover-bike essentially works like a helicopter. However, It is cheaper, faster to use, and more rugged. It can be flown unmanned too.
Therefore, the TRV could be used to send supplies. This brought upon a new “naamkaran” of the hoverbike. They now called it the Joint Tactical Aerial Resupply Vehicle (JTARV).
The Army Research Laboratory aims for the JTARV to do it all from transporting soldiers in strange and unknown terrains to re-stocking supplies. You can watch the JTARV being introduced here:
Flying the hoverbike is easy because it does not actually require a pilot. It already has a system in place for it. The best part is the lift-off which works exactly like in a motorcycle, give the throttle a little wrist action.
Now I can see you weaving dreams of flying on a bike, literally. For those curious minds, this page gives all the answers on how, who, when, where, and what of the first flying motorcycle.
With the weird name and a design that really just looks like a flat and bigger drone, the hover-bike does not instill imaginings of bike chases through the air. But hope springs eternal. One day that might just be possible.