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US military to develop a hoverbike

If there was ever a moment this pacifist wanted to join the military, it was today.

Yesterday, Reuters reported that the US Department of Defense is developing a hoverbike, together with the British firm Malloy Aeronautics.

Malloy Aeronautics has been slowly and publicly developing a hoverbike over the last few years. It even turned to Kickstarter at one point, but now the company has a new direction.

According to Malloy's marketing sales director Grant Stapleton, "there are a lot of advantages of the Hoverbike over a regular helicopter. Primarily there's safety. With adducted rotors you immediately not only protect people and property if you were to bump into them, but if you ever were to bump into somebody or property it's going to bring the aircraft out of the air. So there's a considerable safety level which is a considerably high level of safety involved there. The other thing is cost. This is much less expensive to buy a Hoverbike and much less expensive to run."

As a proof of concept, Malloy and his team of engineers built a one-third scale model of the hoverbike in Hampshire in the UK. The team then decided to market the small scale model to help raise funds to continue the development of the manned version.

The full-scale model could be used by a human, or could be flown autonomously on a pre-determined path.

"It can do so much inexpensively and effectively as a multi-purpose product that can be flown manned or unmanned," said Stapleton. "It's absolutely ideal. It's inexpensive, it can carry a decent load, it can get in and out of very small spaces very quickly and it can be moved across continents very quickly because it can be folded and packed into a C130 or onto a ship and taken; lots of them can be moved around and deployed in the places that you need them very easily and very quickly."