The U.S. Military Is Getting Hoverbikes To Serve As A New Type Of Tactical Reconnaissance Vehicle

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The U.K.-based engineering startup Malloy Aeronautics and the US Department of Defense will be working together to create a new Tactical Reconnaissance Vehicle (TRV) hoverbike. The company announced last week that it has signed a contract with the U.S. Army Research Laboratory to develop the TRVs for the U.S. military. Malloy also said that they are partnering with Survice, an engineering firm that specializes in developing aircraft.The US military intends on using the hoverbike as a new and more efficient way to replace many of the missions that helicopters are currently used to carry out. Malloy says the hoverbike’s low cost and practical size additionally lends itself to operations such as search and rescue missions, first-responder emergency services, and cargo insertion into confined spaces.

Mark Butkiewicz from SURVICE explained the U.S. military’s interest in the vehicle:
“The Department of Defense is interested in Hoverbike technology because it can support multiple roles. It can transport troops over difficult terrain and when it’s not used in that purpose it can also be used to transport logistics, supplies, and it can operate in both a manned and unmanned asset. It can also operate as a surveillance platform.”PictureThe current prototype weighs around 600 pounds, can carry up to 220 pounds and is estimated to reach a top speed of 92 mph. How high the prototype can fly remains unknown due to that fact that all tests have had it tethered to the ground.

Grant Stapleton, Malloy’s marketing sales director, told Reuters:
“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.”
The initial stage for Malloy will be to build a military-grade full-scale model. Right now, there doesn’t seem to be a timetable set for when the hoverbike will be in action, but development is set to begin this year in Maryland, according to Malloy.

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