There’s a surprising number of companies attempting to develop personal hovercraft. Most are working on skateboard-style hoverboards, a concept popularized in the 1989 movie “Back to the Future Part II.”
Some, however, have more ambitious plans. Take for example Russia’s Hoversurf which is working on a hoverbike. The company this month successfully demonstrated a prototype at a test facility in Moscow.
Called the Scorpion-3, the design features four precariously placed propellers that we hope will end up enclosed on future versions. Located under each of the propellers is an electric motor powered by a battery situated in the central structure incorporating the controls and seat. Think of it as a blend of a quadcopter drone and a motorcycle.
Hoversurf flying taxi concept sketch
According to Hoversurf, the Scorpion-3 can be controlled manually or autonomously, using software developed in-house. Unfortunately there aren’t any specs such as range and charge times, though Hoversurf did state that it is investigating the potential of using an internal combustion engine as a range-extender.
Hoversurf says the Scorpion-3, if it ever reaches the market, will be aimed at adventure and extreme sports enthusiasts. There’s also the potential for military applications and perhaps someday a flying taxi service.
But Hoversurf says the real opportunity is the market for cargo carrying drones. The company already supplies commercial drones used for monitoring purposes and carrying cargo over rough terrain, such as for Arctic and terrain reconnaissance, geological exploration, delivery of equipment to remote or dangerous locations, and rescue and evacuation services. Some of its designs are capable of carrying as much as 5,500 pounds.