LUC 2 Star Wars speeder bikes take a step closer to reality with hover vehicle

Exerimental aircraft firm Aerofex has developed a hover vehicle that is remarkably close to the landspeeders and speeder bikes of the Star Wars films, bringing what was once pure science-fiction one step closer to reality.

Exerimental aircraft firm Aerofex has developed a hover vehicle that is remarkably close to the landspeeders and speeder bikes of the Star Wars films, bringing what was once pure science-fiction one step closer to reality.

 
The vehicle employs two ducted rotors that propel it upward through the force of air, similar to how a helicopter takes flight. Speeds can match helicopters, but Aerofex is being extra cautious and limiting top speeds of its latest model to 30mph and a height of 15 feet.
 
Such hovercraft have been designed since the 1960s, long before George Lucas made cinema history, but there were always problems with ensuring stability, with many of them toppling over. Aerofex managed to solve this problem by developing an intuitive system of controls, which employ two control bars at the knees so that the pilot's own natural leaning movements to regain balance will keep the vehicle properly aligned.
 
LUC 2 Star Wars speeder bikes take a step closer to reality with hover vehicle
 
The hope is that such vehicles can be used in the future to get doctors to patients in rural areas where there are no roads or to allow border police to carry out patrols without the need to get pilot training. However, Aerofex also has other plans in mind, such as unmanned robotic hovercraft for delivery in rough terrain or work in agricultural fields, with the first unmanned drone test flight scheduled to go ahead before the end of next year.
 
It may be a long time before we see anything like the speeder bikes of Return of the Jedi, but Aerofex has already demonstrated that its hovercraft can fly within woods, close to walls and under bridges, giving them considerable advantage over helicopters in denser terrain.
 
 
Source: LiveScience