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Kirby – The World’s first true Hoverbike

ROSA Motor Company, a USA-based motor vehicle manufacturer is developing a mass-market hoverbike, at a similar price point to that of a high-end motorcycle. It contains an electric drivetrain, along with flight systems, allowing it to reach a top speed several hundred miles per hour.

They have successfully built and tested a basic prototype in 2018, and are hoping to develop it further to mass-market using funding from their Kickstarter campaign (http://kck.st/2RXeoJ3).

Here is concept art they have created as to what their superbike should look like:

The first difference introduced with their Hoverbike, named Kirby, is that the traditional Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) is removed and replaced with a 100% Electric Drivetrain. By using a powerful electric motor, they provide the vehicle more torque and instantaneous acceleration than even the most powerful 1000cc motorcycles while compactifying the drivetrain. However, this is not the only innovation. Both wheels sit on a Hydraulic Suspension, which retracts up into the body of the vehicle when the driver enters hover.

Hover is a feature exclusive to their vehicles, which allows them to travel above the ground at no point in contact with it. In this state, several Hover Engines propel the vehicle forward in flight. Free of friction from the road, these engines produce acceleration at blisteringly high power-weight and efficiency ratios. At these ratios, acceleration takes place much easier and requires less energy. When the rider finishes their flight in hover, the wheels extend back out while the drivetrain spins them up to speed, where it lands and drives again as a traditional motorcycle.

The practical and foreseeable applications for their vehicle architecture is endless – hover vehicles could be used to drastically reduce the travel time spent on highways, to deliver aid to disaster areas faster (manned or unmanned), for quicker search and rescue operations, etc. It could make our transportation networks invulnerable to natural disasters such as landslides, floods or earthquakes, since the vehicle will not need to contact the ground. Many causes of automobile accidents could be eliminated, such as poorly paved roads, hydroplaning, or loss of traction. For highway applications in which a driver is cruising in hover (at faster speeds), travel times between major US cities reduced in calculation as much as 8X. Transit from Los Angeles to NYC was estimated to take place in under 12 hours.

ROSA Motor Company also envisions applications in both EMS and Military, discussed more in their kickstarter campaign. These applications are potentially groundbreaking and could save lives, reducing several bottlenecks in transportation.

  • Electric Drivetrain w/Hydraulic Suspension – They plan to integrate an electric motor, delivering more torque and off-the-line acceleration than the most powerful 1000cc sport bikes in production – along with the benefit of a more compact powerplant. Also, use of a hydraulic suspension will allow the wheels to retract into and extend out of the body of the vehicle. This is to reduce drag and streamline aerodynamics of the vehicle when in flight. They plan to separate the suspension from the steering column and braking system by use of electronically-assisted hub-center steering, made popular by the Bimota Tesi. The drivetrain incorporates lightweight, supersport class elements – such as Marchesini magnesium wheels wrapped in Pirelli tires, Brembo brakes, purpose-built Lithium-Ion Battery Packs, etc.
  • Hover Engines & Assemblies – Four safely integrated, high power turbine engines will propel the vehicle forward when wheels are no longer in contact with the ground. They have calculated engine activation speed to be around 30-40mph, from where the engines can throttle up to a whopping 350 lb-ft of thrust. Liftoff will take place around 75-90 mph, where the vehicle will accelerate at the rate of 1G. They expect the top speed to be several hundred miles per hour.
  • Body, Flight Control Surfaces, Dashboard & Electronics – They plan to integrate an entire painted body, as well as motor driven wheel doors, flight control actuators, head/taillights, etc. They hope to introduce a next-generation dashboard that forms a vibrant control arc in the rider’s view. This also includes the vehicle’s computer, sensors, and electronic controllers.

This vehicle, when done, will be a drivable and mature Hoverbike. Weight is a prime factor in the design of this vehicle. ROSA is working for a dry weight of between 240 and 400 lbs. It may be possible to eliminate the need for a pilot’s license and aircraft registration under ‘Ultralight’ classification.

Features:

* Magnesium Wheels wrapped in Pirelli Tires

*Supersport-class Brembo Brakes

*Powerful Electric Motor and Drivetrain

*Retractable Hydraulic suspension, for both wheels

*Purpose-Built High Capacity Lithium-Ion Battery Packs

*Flight Engines and Flight Control Structures

*Next-Generation Dashboard

ROSA Motor Company depends on their Kickstarter campaign  in order to fund construction of the prototype vehicle, Kirby. You can find more information at their website rosamotors.com also.

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