With a top speed of 45 miles per hour and a flying altitude of up to 10 feet off the ground, the Aero-X hoverbike is poised to kick-start an entire industry. Set for commercial release this year, the low altitude hoverbike has unlimited outdoor use – whether it’s surveying, disaster relief, or search and rescue.
Aero-X Hoverbike Technology
With the agility of a motorcycle and capable of carrying 310 lbs, the Aero-X uses Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) technology to control its flight patterns. The intuitive pilot interface allows users to seamlessly maneuver the hoverbike with just a week’s worth of training. Built with limited moving parts – keeping maintenance costs to a minimum – you can purchase your very own Aero-X for right around $85K. For the price of a basic airplane or helicopter, the two-person surface-effect vehicle has a flight duration of 1.25 hrs and comes with whole vehicle airbags.
Designed with safety in mind, Aero-X comes with a Powertrain monitoring system, floating pontoons for water operations, and a DOT-approved transport trailer. In other words, this hoverbike comes with a full arsenal of bells and whistles. With a launch date set for “sometime in 2017,” we’re going to break down some of the commercial applications Aero-X is best suited for:
Robotic Crop Spraying
In order to reap the benefits of a maximum crop yield, precise spraying of the fields is critical. Capable of carrying up to 310 lbs, Aero-X is perfectly equipped to handle significant loads of fertilizer, pesticides, and seeds. It has the dual benefit of delivering targeting resources and at the same time, is able to strategically maneuver safely around operations workers. With its first agricultural test run scheduled for February 17th, Aero-X is designed to handle the rigors of consistent drops, making it perfect for crop spraying.
Unexploded Ordnance Remediation
“Over 2,000 people a month are injured or killed by unexploded ordnance and landmines (UXO),” according to the Red Cross. “In the U.S. alone, over 15 million acres may be contaminated.” With the EPA estimating close to 16,000 domestic inactive military ranges posing “an imminent and substantial” public health risk requiring “the largest environmental cleanup ever,” there needs to be a cost effective, yet safe solution. Not only can a hoverbike locate UXO’s due to its low flying capabilities, but it can also remove them in the most strategic way possible.
Mobile infrastructure mapping, according to Aero-X’s website, is “the process of collecting geospatial data of structures and topography from a moving vehicle.” In this case, the moving vehicle is a four-wheeled, carbon fiber hoverbike. Due to the advancements in three-dimensional laser scanning, detailed comparisons of the position of structures (river slopes, valleys, road banks, etc) have improved exponentially. The Aero-X is capable of carrying two mobile laser scanners – one oriented for detailed mapping and the other – capable of being mounted atop guardrails, poles, and bridges. This technology can be used to assess damage during a catastrophic event like a hurricane, earthquake, flood, etc.
Aerial Pipeline Inspection
Finally, Aero-X can be easily strapped with state-of-the-art sensors – one’s capable of detecting methane or hydrocarbon plumes. According to the company’s website, “The natural gas transmission system in the U.S. is comprised of roughly 250,000 miles of pipeline.” With the costs to replace sections of pipeline skyrocketing to astronomical levels, the best solution is to monitor and routinely inspect. The Aero-X hoverbike would provide a cost-effective alternative to taking fueled up planes for routine checkups. When a leak is detected, “the vehicles small footprint and vertical landing capability enables the pilot to land and inspect the damage.”