“Back to the Future”’s prediction of hoverboards in the year 2015 hasn’t panned out, but the US Army has just announced something even cooler.
In a partnership made public at the Paris Air Show, British firm Malloy Aeronautics has teamed up with the U.S. Department of Defense to create the first hoverbikes for the U.S. Army—and eventually for commercial use.
Malloy’s marketing sales director Grant Stapleton tells Quartz that the hoverbike is meant to be a cheaper, more adaptable alternative to the helicopter. The first prototype can fly at around 9,000 feet. ( According to Reuters , the British company has already built a one-third-scale model.) Stapleton tells Quartz that the hoverbike is being developed for both manned and unmanned use.
And how long before you can get one? “The civilian hoverbike is at the forefront of our objective,” Stapleton says.
The company estimates the hoverbike will be ready in three to five years. And Stapleton says “it will be around the cost of a top-of-the-line SUV.”