Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Just because: A "safe and affordable" Jet pack!

We've been daydreaming half of the morning and now afternoon of all the ridiculously wonderful things we could do with a "safe" jet pack. And it's only $90K. If it comes with an iPod attachment we're so buying one to go with our Gator pants. Tailgating will never be the same...

The jetpack is made from carbon fiber, with a touch of kevlar in the rotors, and generates 600 pounds of thrust. Because the center of gravity is below the “center of thrust” (a notional point between the engines), it is self-righting: If the pilot lets go of the controls, he hovers steadily in one spot. Unlike other sci-fi vehicles, the jetpack doesn’t require plutonium or even garbage for power. Instead, it runs on ordinary gasoline, chugging down around 10 gallons per hour (a full tank of five gallons will give you half an hour of flight time, enough to get you to the office).

Martin’s jetpack is classed as an ultralight aircraft, so you don’t need a pilot’s license fly it. Martin will force buyers to undergo training first, though. As its FAQ so rightly points out: “to attempt to fly any aircraft without professional instruction is extremely foolhardy.” There are some safety features, though. If the engine dies, a parachute pops out like an airbag in a car, so the only thing you need worry about is crashing into passing planes.

Want one? Of course you do. Right now you’re looking at a 12-month wait, and you’ll have to pay 10 percent upfront, but at just shy of $90,000 — the same as a fancy sports car — it’s actually a pretty good deal. And just imagine landing this thing on the forecourt of the local gas station.

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