Motorcycle Technology – Three Types
Flying Motorcycles are currently being developed using three basic designs. Gliderbikes, Hoverbikes and Gyrocopters.
Gliderbikes consist of a motorcycle/hang glider combination.
Hoverbikes are Manned Aerial Vehicles (MAVs) and describe a motorcycle driven by propellers. Hoverbikes can have Counter-rotating propellers (two propellers), Tricopters (three propellers), Quadcopters (four propellers) and Octocopters (eight propellers).
Gyrocopters consist of a motorcycle/gyrocopter combination.
Gliderbikes – Hang Glider Flying Motorcycles
Aluminium alloy framed hang gliders use a synthetic sailcloth to form a wing, in
which the operator hangs suspended beneath and controls the direction by shifting body weight.
During the 1970s the temptation to fly a motorcycle was too strong for Bob Wills to resist. Using hang glider technology and an off-road motorbike, Bob sped up to 65 mph (104 km/hr) and after leaving a ramp, flew 301 feet (92 meters).
Bob’s success has naturally inspired other inventors to explore how to fly a gliderbike without the use of a ramp. In 1999, a Western Australian inventor achieved this on the Murrayfield Airport in Mandurah Western Australia.
The inventor combined this
To create the “Sky Bike”
Combining a Honda CBR900RR Fireblade motorcycle, training wheels and an old hang glider wing, this creative rider/flyer has named his flying combination the “Sky Bike”. Modifications to the motorcycle take about 10 minutes to install and uninstall.
A propeller uses a friction drive attached to the motorcycle rear wheel. The Sky Bike gains the same benefits as a hang glider, in that you only need to run the engine to reach the desired altitude, then turn it off and glide. No need to turn it on again unless you need more altitude.
The Nitro Circus attempted creating a gliderbike in 2009 with less success. It seems they forgot to include a rear propeller to continue the forward thrust when the motorcycle rear tire left the ground.
Not all motorcycles have two wheels, let’s take a look at Trikes Gliderbikes.
The Revo from Evolution Trikes
Powered by an 80 hp 4 stroke engine, and weighing 1040 pounds (472.5 kg), this gliderbike can travel at 115 mph (185 km/hr) depending on the chosen wing. There is a smaller version named the Rev, which is powered by a 36.5 hp 2-stroke engine, weighs 600lbs (272 kg), and can reach 55 mph (88 km/hr) depending on the chosen wing.
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Benefits of Gliderbikes
Gliderbikes solve the problem faced when attempting to find a way to fly a motorcycle. Here are the benefits of Gliderbikes.
- uncomplicated to build and operate
- easy to source parts
- take advantage of gliding to save fossil fuels
Disadvantages of Gliderbikes
Here are some disadvantages of this style of flying motorcycle
- Gliderbikes require great width for the sail
- Gliderbikes require a runway to obtain sufficient speed for liftoff and landing
As a motorcycle rider, I would prefer this in preference to a standard hang glider. If you are creating a gliderbike of your own, share your successes and failed attempts below, then visit Hoverbikes – Drone Style Flying Motorcycles and see how far flying technology has come.
Haul N Ride website was created to explore Innovation and Human Creativity with a focus on Interesting, Rare and Unusual Motorcycles and Accessories. Haul N Ride welcomes the sharing of projects and ideas, creating an enjoyable and educational online resource. We like to hear from readers so please leave a comment below and let us know if this post helped you or if you have any questions.
Thank you for visiting Haul N Ride. Dave