An aviation company that specialises in jet packs is developing a recreational flying motorcycle
Spotted: JetPack Aviation, makers of recreational jet packs, has an answer for travellers who would rather not have their legs dangling when flying around. The company has developed a flying motorcycle, named The Speeder. Available in two models – Ultralight and Experimental – the Speeder may be the first turbine-powered, fully stabilised, vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) personal aircraft ever built.
As the new Speeder will be fully stabilised, minimal pilot training will be required. The Ultralight will not require a license to fly and will travel at 60 MPH, carrying just 5 gallons of fuel. The Experimental Speeder will require a pilot’s license and will have no fuel or speed restrictions, and it will be capable of travelling at 150 mph at up to 15,000 feet.
JetPack has raised €1.8 million towards developing its prototypes, primarily from a group of angel investors that include Draper Associates, Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn, YC, and Cathexis Ventures. The Speeder will have no exposed rotors, making it safer than other VTOL designs. The company’s jetpack is certified by the FAA, and is available for use by the U.S. Navy Special Forces for short-distance troop transportation. The company also hopes its new Speeder will be used for other military operations.
Unlike other, similar VOTL designs, the Speeder is powered by turbines, rather than batteries, which makes rapid development more viable. According to JetPack founder David Mayman, “Current battery energy density is just too low for most electrically powered VTOLs to be truly practical,” but the company expects to transition to battery-power in 5 to 10 years. Meanwhile, the Ultralight Speeder will retail at around €343,000.
While Jetpack Aviation has gone far in developing innovative ways to fly, at Springwise we have covered other companies working on innovations such as an all-electric seaplane and an electric flying car.