Now, zoom around in a $100K Jetsons-like jetpack of your own!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

WASHINGTON - Conventional air carriers may soon become a thing of the past, for now you can buy your very own jetpack and fly it too.

The jetpack, labelled the ‘Segway of the sky’, costs 100,000 dollars and doesn’t require professional training or a pilot’s license.

“We’re trying to make the world’s easiest-to-fly aircraft. Our goal is to create a Segway for the sky, where the principles of flying would be very simple,” Discovery News quoted Richard Lauder, chief executive of New Zealand-based Martin Aircraft Company, as saying.

The company also is developing a heftier jetpack intended for military, emergency rescue services and other government uses, as well as a remotely piloted, unmanned version, Lauder said.

“Going back to Buck Rogers in the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s, it was assumed that within 50 years these things would have become commonplace. It hasn’t gone quite as quickly. I think there’s a lot more engineering in it than one might perceive,” said Dick Knapinski communications director for the Experimental Aircraft Association, a non-profit organization.

The key issue is that the heavier you are or the longer you want to stay in the air, the more power you need, which in turn means you have to carry more weight.

Martin Aircraft set out to build a flying machine weighing 254 pounds or less, designed for one person, holding no more than five gallons of fuel and capable of moving at a top speed of 55 knots (63 miles per hour).

Although the cost is a bit steep, Knapinski believes a small section of people who would like to have own one of these. (ANI)

Filed under: Science and Technology

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