US Army’s “Speeder” Hoverbike Nears Completion
” The Army Research Laboratory and industry partners demonstrated the flying capabilities of a unique rectangular-shaped quadcopter during a visit from Department of Defense officials Jan. 10.
Dr. William Roper, director of the Strategic Capabilities Office at the Office of the Secretary of Defense and members of his staff visited the Aberdeen Proving Ground laboratory to see the joint tactical aerial resupply vehicle, or JTARV.”
” Also known as the “hoverbike,” the vehicle may one day make it possible for Soldiers on the battlefield to order resupply and then receive those supplies rapidly.
” During the visit, Roper told laboratory officials that he is concerned about adapting future technology advances. He said he wants to figure out how to get people to “see something that’s coming on the shelf, immediately identify the use, determine if it’s good enough for rock and roll, get it into the field, but in a way that allows us to keep one-upping it.”
Researchers envision a future JTARV flying low to the ground or at thousands of feet at speeds of 60 miles per hour or more.”
” Anywhere on the battlefield, Soldiers can potentially get resupplied in less than 30 minutes,” said Tim Vong, associate chief of ARL’s Protection Division. He likened the concept to “Amazon on the battlefield.”
” We want to have options like that,” Vong said.
While the current prototype is electric, researchers are looking at a hybrid propulsion system that could dramatically increase range.
” We’re exploring increasing payload capacity to 800 pounds and extending the range up to 125 miles,” Vong said. “We’re also looking to integrate advanced intelligent navigation and mission planning. We’re looking to end up with a modular, stable platform that can be used for even more dynamic and challenging missions.” “