The makers of a luxury vehicle billed as a “flying motorcycle” that can travel over 300 mph have completed flight testing of their first prototype and are ready to take pre-orders.
Jetpack Aviation envisions its Speeder, a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) jet, both a pleasure craft and a mission vehicle well suited for medical teams and fire and rescue operations.
The company’s P1 prototype has an aluminum frame and was strapped in recent flight tests in Southern California, where it achieved several benchmarks that “demonstrated the Speeder’s ability to take off, climb, hover, yaw and make slow transitions to forward flight, ”Testing International reported.
The Speeder can reach an altitude of up to 15,000 feet and will ultimately be able to produce a maximum thrust of 1,200 pounds.
With cargo on board, an automated Speeder could reach speeds of 300 mph, although a manned version was slower so the pilot could see and breathe safely.
The cost of the Speeder was originally announced at $ 380,000, but it is likely to rise, according to Jetpack Aviation CEO David Mayman.
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Jetpack Aviation has cleared the first test flight for the P1 prototype of its Speeder, a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) jet that can go at 300 mph
The Speeder is small enough to be transported in a trailer and does not need to be recharged before taking off.
And unlike a jetpack, there isn’t a lot of prep work required for launch: “You just have to get on board and fly,” New Atlas reported.
JA is already working on its next iteration, the P1.5, which will use a smaller frame with carbon fiber body panels.
It will come close to the final production model and fly unattached.
Like Jetpack Aviation’s JB-10 and JB-11 jetpacks, the “flying motorcycle” is powered by mini-turbojet engines. But it will move faster, support up to two passengers, and carry heavier loads.
The next experimental model, the P2, will have a fully formed body and small removable wings.
While Speeder prototypes use four engines, the final production model will have up to eight.
JetPack Aviation has received backing from venture capitalist Tim Draper, one of Elon Musk’s early investors in Tesla and SpaceX, CNBC reported.
Right now, the Speeder can be powered by jet fuel, diesel, or kerosene, but Mayman is committed to moving to zero carbon fuel in the future.
The company has already garnered attention with its JB-10 and JB-11 jetpacks, among the only ones on Earth powered by mini-turbojet engines.
The Speeder works on a similar principle, but will move faster, carry heavier loads, and support up to two passengers.
While the Speeder will be available for commercial sale, CEO David Mayman sees it has a lot of potential with the military, medics, and fire and rescue operations.
It will also be electronically self-stabilized, according to New Atlas, with servo-controlled nozzles “that can quickly direct the thrust of each jet 360 degrees to make lightning-fast balance corrections and perform maneuvers.”
The tether used in testing doesn’t hold the vehicle in place, Mayman insists, it just makes sure it doesn’t suddenly fall or stray from its path.
“Right now we’ve checked that it can take off, climb, make turns. It can maintain a stable hover using LiDAR. Nice and precise, ”he told NS. “He’s slowly drifting a bit at the moment, maybe a foot over five minutes, but you can give him a decent push with a pole and he’ll wobble and then come back to where he was. “
Mayman says his goal is to make the Speeder modular, with different types of frames and propulsion configurations to serve different customers. In the photo: an eight-engine “kart” configuration for the Speeder
Mayman says his goal is to make the Speeder modular, with different types of frames and propulsion configurations to meet different customer needs.
“We have potential end users in the United States Marine Corps who want to be able to travel, say, 300 miles. To do that, you would need a large wingspan of 15 to 17 feet, ”he said.
“Sometimes you’ll just want to drive the chassis, so it has to be modular and adaptable in the field. For very long distance work it is possible to use a wet wing with a bladder full of extra fuel inside. ‘