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Jetpack flies at AirVenture Answered

The Martin Jetpack made its first public flight while at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2008 on Tuesday. The actual flight lasted seconds and was confined to a few feet off the ground, with handlers gripping the device even as 16-year-old Harrison Martin manipulated the controls. The Martin Jetpack team is scheduled to conclude Thursday's air show with another flight at the mouth of AeroShell Square. More air show flights may take place later in the week as well.

Today this jetpack was demonstrated at EAA AirVenture. It seems like the closest thing yet to one that is actually marketable: it has flown a demonstration flight in public, and a CNN reporter was able to handle it after minimal training. Rather than a finicky rocket that burns hydrogen peroxide, it uses a gasoline V-4. It's also considered an ultralight, which means very minimal regulations.

Darn it, I could have gone to AirVenture, and I decided not to this year!




Reply 10 years ago

A motorbike engine running on petrol uses car fan-belts to drive two fan propellers that spin horizontally inside what looks like two oversized soup cans.

This ‘ducted fan’ design is more efficient than the unshielded rotor of a helicopter.

The engine, fuel tank and pilot are positioned between and below the lift-fans to lower the centre of gravity and prevent the machine turning upside down in flight and diving into the ground.

Two control levers protrude forwards beneath the pilot’s arms. The left one is a joystick controlling forward and backward movement and sideways tilt of the propellers, for left and right turns.

The right lever is the accelerator, the engine start-and-stop switch, and a button for the emergency parachute, located behind the pilot’s head.

Mr Martin recently gained backing from a group of venture capitalists and quit his regular job as a biochemist to develop his machine.

He said: ‘Within six months I’ll take it to 500ft, then the sky’s the limit.’ He believes its ideal flying height will be between 500ft and 1,000ft although it could go up to 6,000ft. He said his machine can stay up for 30 minutes, a flying time he believes will make it a best-seller.

Daily Mail

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