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Search Results for: jetpack

Rent A JetPack For $250 A Ride

By David Ponce

This is not the kind of jetpack you have in mind. The Jetlev R200 is a tethered jetpack, which shoots water out its nozzles as its propulsion system. It’s tied to a companion boat through a 33ft long hose, and since the heavy lifting work of pumping all this water is done on this boat, the pack itself weighs very little and is very maneuverable. Of course the limitations are that you can’t go over land with it, you can’t go higher than 33ft and you can’t go anywhere without the companion boat following you.

But who cares, this thing is awesome! It’s still able to do a top speed of 25mph and with the 26 gallons of fuel on board, you can get up to 3h of fun without refueling. Also, the companion boat is unmanned. It appears you tug it along, though we’re certain it has a propulsion system of its own. And while the Jetlev R200 isn’t new, it used to be that you’d have to pay $99,500 to get your own. Of course normal people couldn’t afford them but word is now coming out that you can rent one for a couple of hours for about $250 from whichever companies bought these. We’ve heard they are in places like Lake Havasu, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii and Florida, in the US as well as Germany and Singapore. One of these companies, Jet Pack Adventures, is linked to below.

[ Jet Pack Adventures ] AND [ Manufacturer Website ] VIA [ TechEBlog ]

Personal Jetpack Going Into Production, May Actually Be Affordable

martinjetpack008

By Evan Ackerman

When we posted our last update on the Martin Jetpack Ductedfanpack about a year ago, they were looking at producing around 10 units at $100,000 each. In that quantity and price, it didn’t seem like something that was particularly realistic. At the end of last month the Telegraph reported that Martin Aircraft Company had teamed up with an unnamed international aircraft company, and that the new partnership had secured enough capital to begin producing 500 jetpacks a year at a cost of around $75,000 each. Yes, it’s a lot, but come on, it’s a personal jetpack, and it may actually be a practical one too:

-No pilot’s license required
-Runs on premium gas from a gas station
-30 mile range at 60 mph, 8000 ft ceiling
-Includes low altitude ballistic parachute for safety

It’s certainly not the sexy sci-fi jetpack of the future yet, but I mean, it works, and you can actually buy one (quite soon, anyway) for a not entirely crazy amount of money.

[ Martin Jetpack ] VIA [ Telegraph ]

Jetpack Fails To Make First Intercontinental Flight

jetman_splashdown-thumb-550

By Evan Ackerman

When it comes to the future, I don’t care that much about flying cars… Just get me a jetpack. We’ve been following Yves Rossy’s flying jet wing for about a year, and on Wednesday, he tried to fly from Europe to Africa across the straits of Gibraltar, a distance of about 23 miles.

He, um, didn’t quite make it, suffering a “wing malfunction” (whatever that means) just minutes into the flight (he himself was fine):

Yeah, so that last part kinda sucks, but the first part looks incredibly awesome. I still want one.

[ Telegraph ] VIA [ DVICE ]

Video Friday: Martin Jetpack

martinjetpack008

By Evan Ackerman

We posted about the Martin Jetpack Ducted Fanpack last year, and since then, Martin has been getting some criticism for the fact that in most of their demos so far (including the one we saw), the jetpack has only been seen operating a foot or so off the ground, accompanied by a couple nervous looking attendants ready to grab onto the thing should it develop a mind of its own. To quell some of this, Martin has released the following video of the jetpack maneuvering around all by itself:

So yes, it still hasn’t gotten far enough off the ground to show that it’s capable of achieving significant altitude without the assistance of ground effect… My first question would be, how far off the ground would I WANT to get in something like this anyway? But Martin has thoughtfully included an integrated ballistic (i.e. rocket propelled) parachute for the entire unit, which should keep you mostly safe even in a low altitude failure.

The Martin Jetpack is capable of 30 minutes of flight at 60 mph and 8,000 feet, which is more than enough for your commute. It doesn’t technically require a pilot’s license, and has just two primary controls: left joystick controls pitch and roll, right joystick controls yaw and throttle. It runs on standard automotive fuel, too. The cost? Only about $100,000, and the first 10 units should be delivered sometime this year.

[ Martin Jetpack ] VIA [ Danger Room ]

JetLev Water Powered Jetpack

By Evan Ackerman

The big reason why it’s not the future and you don’t have a jetpack is fuel. Jetpacks are necessarily a compromise between the amount of fuel they can carry and the amount of weight they can lift, and so far the best you’ve been able to expect is 10 or 20 minutes of flying time. So if somehow you could get the fuel off of the jetpack, you’d be good to go… And that’s what the JetLev does.

The JetLev is a jetpack that’s powered by water. It doesn’t carry the water with it; rather, it’s got a 140 foot long flexible tube attached to a little boat that you drag along behind you. The boat has a 4 stroke 115 hp engine in it that pumps water up into the jetpack at 100 psi, and when that water comes shooting down out of the two nozzles at the sides, it puts out enough force to lift a person up to 50 feet in the air at speeds of 50 mph. Since you’ve got about 326 million trillion gallons of propellant at your disposal (and it recycles!), the only limit to the range and endurance of the JetLev is the gas in the motor boat pod thingy, which currently gives a range of nearly 200 miles.

There are downsides to being restricted to water, but upsides as well… Namely, if anything goes wrong, you’re no more than 50 feet away from a splash landing. The JetLev is reportedly a cinch to operate, and it costs about $128,000.

[ JetLev ] VIA [ Wired ]

Welcome To The Future, Here’s Your Jetpack

JetPack International

By Evan Ackerman

I’ll be honest: in the realm of sci-fi tech, I’d always thought of the personal jet pack as showing up after the flying car, neither of which would be making a realistic appearance anytime soon. Turns out I’m dead wrong: the personal jet pack that you can buy is set to be released December 11 of this year.

It may or may not surprise you to hear that jet packs (of a sort) are old news. Bell Aerosystems had a personal rocket belt back in the 1960s, and a few different companies are currently offering the same hydrogen peroxide powered sort of thing, including Tecaeromex, from whom you can buy a working version for $250,000. The downside of rocket belts is that they only get a maximum of 30 seconds flight time, and the fuel is expensive and dangerous. Bell Aerospace started working on an actual jet pack in the late 60s, which had a hypothetical flying time of 25 minutes and a top speed of about 80 mph, but dropped the project due to it’s complexity.

Luckily for us, Jetpack International (who has lots of experience with conventional hydrogen peroxide powered rocket packs) is working on a turbine powered jet pack with an estimated flight time of 19 minutes, with a range of 27 miles at a max altitude of 250 ft. Best news is that it runs on easily available and cheap jet fuel. The $200,000 price tag includes a training course, although it’s unclear what certification (if any) is required to operate a jet pack. Below is a video of one of Jetpack International’s conventional rocket belts, to give you an idea of how these things perform:

[ Jet Pack International ] VIA [ Popular Science ]

Rocket Powered Helicopter Is Crazier Than It Sounds

By Evan Ackerman

Rather than being powered by a conventional engine, someone decided that it would be a good idea to install itty bitty rocket engines on the tips of the blades of this helicopter to power it. And the really scary part is that it works. Very well, in fact. The hydrogen peroxide rockets (the same things that power most jetpacks) produce no pollution and are supposed to be significantly more stable than their conventional counterparts due to the lack of, um, an engine. In fact, there’s really nothing to the helicopter at all apart from a seat and some big fuel tanks. Called the Dragonfly, it can stay aloft for 50 minutes and has a maximum speed of 40 mph. The Dragonfly has completed a successful series of flight tests and obtained its airworthiness certificate last November, so it’s currently on track to be for sale sometime this year.

This is actually not the craziest thing you can do with a rocket propelled airfoil. The craziest thing is to use model rocket engines, one blade, and then just forget the rest of the helicopter. Check that out along with an article on monocopter UAVs over on BotJunkie.

[ Dragonfly DF1 ] VIA [ DVICE ]

Jet Pack Speed Record

By Evan Ackerman

The Martin Jetpack we showed you last week isn’t technically a jetpack, but Jetpack International has the real thing, and they’re confident enough with it to start trying to break airspeed records. This is not especially difficult to do, considering that jetpack airspeed records don’t really exist yet, but when you only have 30 or 40 seconds of fuel, you have to make sure and remember to leave yourself enough time to slow down. Having said that, 30 or 40 seconds worth of fuel is easily enough time to get me to the grocery store and back at 60 mph… I just have to root around under the couch cushions for a quarter million dollars.

[ Jetpack International ] VIA [ Danger Room ]

Otters Now Taking Home Videos In Monterey Bay

otter

By Evan Ackerman

Looks like the recession hasn’t had much of an effect on California sea otters, one of whom was recently spotted in Monterey Bay with his own video camera.

“I was like, did I actually see an otter with a video camera or was I hallucinating?” [Aguirre] said.

The screen on Aguirre’s digital camera soon confirmed what he’d seen: an otter floating on its back, video camera grasped in its paws, lens aimed at the boat of excited photographers. The humans had a bad angle, but Aguirre managed to snap a single clear shot before the otter dived, video camera in tow.

“He’s the only one who got the photo,” Gideon said.

Judging by the rust and seaweed adorning the camera, the otter probably wasn’t getting much good footage. But Aguirre, who has photographed animals all over the world for more than a decade, said the otter aiming a camcorder was the “craziest” thing he’s seen an animal do in the wild.

The otter never resurfaced, leaving the photographers to speculate on the make and model of the animal’s gear. Aguirre suspects that the camera was dropped by a kayaking tourist and then picked up by the curious creature.

“I know I can go down there another million times and I will never see another otter with a video camera,” Aguirre said. “I think I have more chance of a penguin coming up to me and actually speaking English.”

I dunno, if the sea otters can somehow monetize their YouTube cuteness, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them sporting MP3 players and SD cards and jetpacks.

[ Santa Cruz Sentinel ] VIA [ Neatorama ]