Hoverbike like Star Wars

It is every Star Wars fan's dream mode of transport. An American firm has finally made a working 'hoverbike'.

Made famous by 'Return of the Jedi,' where it flew through woods piloted by Stormtroopers, the real life version has been tested in the rather safer surrounding of the Mojave desert.

The real-life hoverbike created by California firm Aerofex being tested in the Mojave desert

Created by California firm Aerofex, the vehicle is made from two ducted rotors facing the ground. Changing the angle of the rotors using two control sticks allows it to move.

A video of the machine being piloted has already become a YouTube hit. Initial plans to create a hoverbike were thwarted due to a complex control system. However, Aerofex created a system that responds to a human pilot's leaning movements and natural sense of balance.

The hoverbike shot to fame after featuring in Return of the Jedi, where is was used in a thrilling forest chase

'Imagine personal flight as intuitive as riding a bike,' the firm says on its website. 'Or transporting a small fleet of first-responder craft in the belly of a passenger transport. ' The firm also believes it could be used to patrol borders quickly, and say the craft can travel over any terrain. 'Think of the advantages of patrolling borders without first constructing roads.'

'Think of it as lowering the threshold of flight, down to the domain of ATV's (all-terrain vehicles),' said Mark De Roche, an aerospace engineer and founder of Aerofex.

'It essentially captures the translations between the two in three axis (pitch, roll and yaw), and activates the aerodynamic controls required to counter the movement — which lines the vehicle back up with the pilot,' De Roche told InnovationNewsDaily.

The Aerofex vehicle is controlled using knee bars, allowing the pilot to simply lean to change direction.

'Since [the pilot's] balancing movements are instinctive and constant, it plays out quite effortlessly to him.' However, sadly for Star Wars fans the firm says it has no plans to sell hoverbikes, instead planning a range of unmanned drones using the technology.

Video shows the craft being piloted around the Mojave desert

The hovering drones, would use two enclosed rotors. Aerofex has currently limited human flight testing to a height of 15 feet and speeds of about 30 mph.

The company plans to fly a second version of its vehicle in October, and is also preparing an unmanned drone version for flight testing by the end of 2013.

A model of the Star Wars hoverbike, which was piloted by Stromtroopers