It began as an insane DIY project in a backyard 6 years ago and has now blossomed into a state-of-the-art aircraft for the US Army. It went through various iterations since creator Chris Malloy first presented off a prototype in 2011, and today after teaming up the US Department of Defense the professional builder has seen a military form of his little baby take flight, with authorities looking to use it for resupply quests to build an “Amazon on the battlefield.”
The most recent form of the large quadcopter might acquire an aptly militarized name, joint tactical aerial resupply vehicle (JTARV), but is nevertheless known warmly as a hoverbike, even during the US Army’s statement.
The JTARV is an electric powered, rectangular-shaped quadcopter with the power to perform some heavy lifting. In its present form, the prototype can carry 300 lb (136 kg), although army experts are looking to improve this by using a hybrid propulsion process which will one day have it soaring along at altitudes of 1000s of feet and zooms of 60 miles per hour (96 km/h).
They are looking at improving payload ability to 800 pounds (362 kg) and furthering the range around 125 miles (200 km). They are also trying to work with sophisticated intelligent course-plotting and mission designing. They are hoping to get a modular, steady platform that can be utilized for even more varying and challenging quests.