Forget Flying Cars, Own Your Own Jetpack - HotHardware
Forget Flying Cars, Own Your Own Jetpack

Forget Flying Cars, Own Your Own Jetpack

Back in the early 1960s, Bell Aerosystems developed and demonstrated the Bell Rocket Belt. It was the first successful jetpack, capable of reaching speeds of up to 30 mph, could travel up to 30 feet vertically, and had a maximum range of ~400 feet. It weighed 120 lbs loaded and flew for a whopping 21s on a single tank of fuel. Unsurprisingly, the military took a good look at the BBB and asked to be notified if there were any breakthroughs. Said advances have never materialized; the practical limitations of modern jetpack technology limit them to spectacular tech demos and entertainment.

At least that used to be the case. The Martin Aircraft Company has just announced that it's taking preorders for its new VTOL jetpack. After eight prototypes the company claims to have struck oil. The ninth design is supposedly capable of lifting a pilot weighing up to 260 pounds, holds five gallons of fuel, and burns some 10 gallons an hour when traveling at 63mph. The vehicle's maximum range is listed at 31.5 miles. Assuming all these stats are accurate, it might be possible to trade pilot weight for fuel capacity—we full-sized folks could find ourselves mocked by legions of airborne midgets bearing grudges and carrying wingtip-mounted fruit-throwers.


If one of the engines fails, does the pilot fly around in circles like a balloon before landing with an amusing *splat* sound?

Martin reportedly expects the jetpack to run about $86,000 (downright affordable compared to the "other" jetpacks on the market) and says it'll deliver commercial models within 12 months of ordering. You don't need an FAA license to fly one as long as you complete the company's training program, Hopefully that includes training pilots to look up before taking off and down before landing—losing power because poor Mr. Bartman landed on the high voltage lines during his descent would take the sheen off personal flying machines real quick.

It's short-ranged, slow, sucks fuel like a Hummer, and might not even exist, but we'd take one just the same. If you want additional info, the company's FAQ is here.
0
+ -

I thought that this was only a design awhile back(Few months ago)... Didn't HH have an article about this and how it was never going to happen??? I would love to have one :) but there is no practical use of this anyways.

0
+ -

This is really cool. But I can't understand why Martin would spend so much money on researching and developing 7 different models. It doesn't have any market capabiities, at least none that I'm aware of. 

 

Or perhaps...maybe I am oblivious to the number of "I carelessly spend my money" type of people out there. 

0
+ -

No practical use huh? How bout the ultimate way to drop water balloons on unsuspecting victims ftw!!!

0
+ -

HAHA recovering im sure they will hear you coming so its not so UNSUSPECTED :D

0
+ -

That thing would make a great HotHardware sweepstakes prize!Stick out tongue

0
+ -

ROFL at the great idea.Super Dave!

However, I'm afraid that I would win and turn it into a two-fer: HH Contest Winner AND Darwin Award.

My luck, I'd fly directly into the only other guy in the country that owned one of these things.

0
+ -

Hehe, for some reason I could see you getting a Darwin Award.Stick out tongue

Sheesh it looks big.  Wasn't the point of a jetpack to be functional and not require a parking spot out side.

0
+ -

I watched some video's on these right before and after the public release. Seem s like a cool idea it may only run 30 minutes a tank, but I bet you could get close to anywhere in or very near your house with absolutely no traffic. You'd just have to fill er up again to go home. Hmm brings up an interesting thought. I hope no rich guys who are also heavy drinkers buy these to get away from drunk driving tickets. Lol interesting concept though I guess they could buy one if there license was suspended to as they would not be driving on the road.

0
+ -

LMFAO super! That would be awesome! but very expansive :(

0
+ -

Forget waterbaloons, This is the ultimate way to target payback just like a bird!!!

Although we have been promised these since the 50's and 60's? It is all meant to keep your hopes up for a brighter tomorrow, all while they keep you in the past? We were also supposed to be colonizing Mars by now!

0
+ -

@Animatortom .. LOL... Nice one..

I still think there is progress this far. Maybe the next version should be really "Lesser mortal friendly" and not be a rich boys toy.

0
+ -

I imagine that the consumer was an afterthought in the Martin Aircraft Company's mind. Despite not being connected (as far as I know) to Lockheed Martin, I'm sure that the words "lucrative military contract" are oft-used in their lunchroom.

But you may find this intriguing: The 1961 Bell rocket pack (or belt) was rated for a pilot of less than 79 kg (~174 lb). A later (1995) development, the RB2000, could lift a pilot of 85 kg (~187 lb). This one, developed to 2010 standards, states that the pilot should weigh less than 260 pounds (~118 kg).

Childhood obesity has clearly had a far-reaching impact.

Login or Register to Comment
Post a Comment
Username:   Password: