Jetpacks soon to be a semi-affordable reality

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Jetpacks soon to be a semi-affordable reality

Postby Hale » Sat Mar 13, 2010 6:09 am UTC

Or so it seems.

http://www.tomsguide.com/us/martin-jetp ... -6074.html

Spoiler:
Tom's hardware wrote:Soon the first commercially available jetpack will hit the market and as long as you've got $86,000 to spare, nothing stands in your way of purchasing one. You don't even need a pilot's license.

Constructed from carbon fiber composite, the Martin Jetpack weighs 250 lbs (excluding safety equipment) and is 5 ft high by 5.5 ft wide by 5 ft long. Gizmag reports it's driven by a 2.0 L V4 2 stroke engine rated at 200 hp (150 kw) and two 1.7 ft wide rotors made from carbon/Kevlar composite. It runs on regular gasoline, can reach heights of 8,000 ft and has a maximum flight time of 30 minutes.

Martin Aircraft says that as sales and production volume increase they expect the $86,000 to drop to the price of a mid-range car. According to Gizmag, a 10 percent deposit buys you a production slot for 12 months hence; progress payments are made during manufacture with final payment due on delivery.

Ordering starts later this year so check out Martin Aircraft's website for more details.


Nothing about the price/actual sale came up about this in a search of all fora, so I'm assuming it hasn't been posted before or at least not for a long while.

It'll probably take it a couple more years to really be affordable for most of us, and hopefully by then it will also be able to run for more then half an hour.
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Re: Jetpacks soon to be a semi-affordable reality

Postby Omegaton » Sat Mar 13, 2010 6:20 am UTC

Okay, I can't see this not getting regulated because of the immense danger of falling out of the air when you run out of fuel. Or does this jetpack have some of special feature I'm not aware of?

Not that jetpacks are not awesome. For some reason it's a lot bigger than I imagined, but I guess that stands to reason since it has to lift a person and be balanced and whatnot.

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Re: Jetpacks soon to be a semi-affordable reality

Postby Azrael001 » Sat Mar 13, 2010 6:58 am UTC

It's got automatic parachutes, or ballistic parachutes or some such. I think. I'm sure that I've mentioned the Martin Jet-packs somewhere, but I'm not sure I made a thread about it.

I'm going to have to lose weight, as I'm currently at the max for the machine.
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Re: Jetpacks soon to be a semi-affordable reality

Postby poxic » Sat Mar 13, 2010 7:03 am UTC

Well, if that isn't motivation, what else could be?

"No pastries for a month and I'll be able to fly! WHEEEEE!" :wink:

Though I doubt that's enough motivation to get me to save the price of a new car, just to be able to say WHEEEEE a bit. Y'know, actually having a car would probably be the first choice.
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Re: Jetpacks soon to be a semi-affordable reality

Postby Azrael001 » Sat Mar 13, 2010 7:20 am UTC

Not me. Screw air traffic laws, I'm flying to work.
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Re: Jetpacks soon to be a semi-affordable reality

Postby Amarantha » Sat Mar 13, 2010 9:45 am UTC

I've wanted something like this ever since the now-defunct Solotrek XFV was announced. That was packed full of safety features but never got beyond tethered testing and was sold for a couple of billion. This is dirt-cheap by comparison and actually flies, and I'm little bit excited. Just need to save a bunch of money... *gets impatient, buys lottery ticket* ...
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Re: Jetpacks soon to be a semi-affordable reality

Postby Aikanaro » Sat Mar 13, 2010 11:03 am UTC

Watching this in action made me suddenly think of merging it with the Segway, to simulate the feeling of flying unaided.....or something. Also, I think I need to stock up on water balloons soon (and buy a reinforced umbrella).
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Re: Jetpacks soon to be a semi-affordable reality

Postby SlyReaper » Sat Mar 13, 2010 2:16 pm UTC

Wow. I was saving up for a new car, but I think I'll take this instead. No more rush-hour traffic, just strap this bad boy on, and wave to the people below. :mrgreen:
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Re: Jetpacks soon to be a semi-affordable reality

Postby Giant Speck » Sat Mar 13, 2010 2:21 pm UTC

Blah. No. It'd be like being on a roller coaster, only you're not attached to anything and the ride is much, much longer.
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Re: Jetpacks soon to be a semi-affordable reality

Postby Mokele » Sat Mar 13, 2010 3:47 pm UTC

Actually, equip it with some pontoons, higher power for hauling more weight, and a bigger fuel supply and it could be a really useful tool for fieldwork in tropical ecosystems, or any other area with exceptionally sparse population, no real infrastructure, and enough open spaces or lakes (hence the pontoons) to land in.
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Re: Jetpacks soon to be a semi-affordable reality

Postby Not A Raptor » Sat Mar 13, 2010 5:55 pm UTC

How fast does this go? In certain environments, this could really ease morning rush hour traffic.
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Re: Jetpacks soon to be a semi-affordable reality

Postby Sizik » Sat Mar 13, 2010 6:01 pm UTC

This is propellor powered, and therefore is not a jetpack.
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Re: Jetpacks soon to be a semi-affordable reality

Postby psychosomaticism » Sat Mar 13, 2010 6:55 pm UTC

Sizik wrote:This is propellor powered, and therefore is not a jetpack.

Yeah, but how well would a "propeller-pack" sell? Personally, I'm just happy the future finally got here.

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Re: Jetpacks soon to be a semi-affordable reality

Postby Outchanter » Sat Mar 13, 2010 7:14 pm UTC

Not to rain on a cool idea, but isn't the fuel consumption rate likely to be substantially higher than an SUV? I'm not sure the semi-affordability claim extends to running costs.

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Re: Jetpacks soon to be a semi-affordable reality

Postby PhoenixEnigma » Sat Mar 13, 2010 7:31 pm UTC

Outchanter wrote:Isn't the fuel consumption rate likely to be substantially higher than an SUV? I.e. the jetpack may be semi-affordable only if you never actually fly it. Or own a refinery.

That's a good question - a 2.0L V4 isn't exactly a huge engine, and it doesn't have to move nearly as much mass (or fight nearly as much total drag) as a big SUV. On the other hand, I imagine you'd have to run that engine at a fairly high throttle setting most of the time, and I suspect power:weight took priority over pretty much every other consideration (such as fuel economy) in engine selection.

I suspect mass of the user, amount of stop-and-go traffic, and cruise speed of the jetpack are all important unknowns in a meaningful comparison.

EDIT: Martin Jetpack website says fuel burn is 10.0gph. At best, that's comparable to a Hummer H2 in stop and go traffic, probably worse.
Last edited by PhoenixEnigma on Sat Mar 13, 2010 7:39 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Jetpacks soon to be a semi-affordable reality

Postby Omegaton » Sat Mar 13, 2010 7:34 pm UTC

Hey guys, here's a link to the technical information: http://www.martinjetpack.com/technical-information.aspx

Mokele wrote:Actually, equip it with some pontoons, higher power for hauling more weight, and a bigger fuel supply and it could be a really useful tool for fieldwork in tropical ecosystems, or any other area with exceptionally sparse population, no real infrastructure, and enough open spaces or lakes (hence the pontoons) to land in.

Apparently, to count as an ultralight aircraft, fuel is limited to 5 gallons. I suppose a more fueled version could count as a larger craft, though I expect that means it would require some form of piloting license.

Not A Raptor wrote:How fast does this go? In certain environments, this could really ease morning rush hour traffic.

Max speed is 63 mph.

Outchanter wrote:Not to rain on a cool idea, but isn't the fuel consumption rate likely to be substantially higher than an SUV? I'm not sure the semi-affordability claim extends to running costs.

6 mpg, apparently (it holds 5 gallons and can go 30 miles).

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Re: Jetpacks soon to be a semi-affordable reality

Postby SlyReaper » Sat Mar 13, 2010 8:16 pm UTC

That would get me to work and back easily, would just have to stop at a petrol station on the way back.

Can you imagine the odd looks you'd get if you flew into a petrol station with one of these and filled up? :mrgreen:
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Re: Jetpacks soon to be a semi-affordable reality

Postby Technical Ben » Sat Mar 13, 2010 10:00 pm UTC

The future is here!
Mix it with Robot one, the tiny remote controlled robot, and you have everything that Sci-Fi said would exist. OK, perhaps we need intergalactic travel before all our dreams become reality.
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Re: Jetpacks soon to be a semi-affordable reality

Postby SummerGlauFan » Sat Mar 13, 2010 10:47 pm UTC

Technical Ben wrote:The future is here!
Mix it with Robot one, the tiny remote controlled robot, and you have everything that Sci-Fi said would exist. OK, perhaps we need intergalactic travel before all our dreams become reality.


And cybernetic implants. Gotta have those. :)

This looks awesome. Too bad I can't even afford a decent car, though...
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Re: Jetpacks soon to be a semi-affordable reality

Postby Vieto » Sat Mar 13, 2010 11:11 pm UTC

Technical Ben wrote:The future is here!


I'm still waiting on my hovercar/board/delorean :P

still, this is pretty cool.

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Re: Jetpacks soon to be a semi-affordable reality

Postby Dauric » Sun Mar 14, 2010 12:09 am UTC

3 thoughts...

First is that they're testing -indoors-, 'round where I live crosswinds are a bitch.

Second thought, at what altitude are they testing at? I know from talking to some RC aircraft guys, Ducted fans don't do well at altitude. So if you're trying to commute anywhere higher than Sea Level you may be fighting those crosswinds with barely enough power to get off the ground.

Third: Trunk space. I gotta get groceries home somehow.

It is terribly cool, but I'm not saving my nickels and dimes for this.
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Re: Jetpacks soon to be a semi-affordable reality

Postby SummerGlauFan » Sun Mar 14, 2010 1:45 am UTC

Dauric wrote:It is terribly cool, but I'm not saving my nickels and dimes for this.


If you've got $86,000 in nickels and dimes, you really need to drop your change off at a bank more... :D
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Re: Jetpacks soon to be a semi-affordable reality

Postby Dauric » Sun Mar 14, 2010 2:06 am UTC

SummerGlauFan wrote:
Dauric wrote:It is terribly cool, but I'm not saving my nickels and dimes for this.


If you've got $86,000 in nickels and dimes, you really need to drop your change off at a bank more... :D


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Re: Jetpacks soon to be a semi-affordable reality

Postby Woopate » Sun Mar 14, 2010 6:34 am UTC

8,000 feet (above Sea Level, I assume) is a rather impressive altitude for something that has a 30 minute runtime, and seems a little dangerous. I'd hope that it forced descent once it reaches critical fuel. Is it required to follow civil aviation standards (aka, have a transponder, an Emergency Locator Transmitter, a two-way radio, an altimeter, Vertical speed indicator, etc.)? Does it take a license to fly?

My best guess would be that yes, it would have to do all of these things, given that it has an altitude range that pretty much covers where non-pressurized aircraft roam.
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Re: Jetpacks soon to be a semi-affordable reality

Postby Josephine » Sun Mar 14, 2010 6:35 am UTC

Woopate wrote:8,000 feet (above Sea Level, I assume) is a rather impressive altitude for something that has a 30 minute runtime, and seems a little dangerous. I'd hope that it forced descent once it reaches critical fuel. Is it required to follow civil aviation standards (aka, have a transponder, an Emergency Locator Transmitter, a two-way radio, an altimeter, Vertical speed indicator, etc.)? Does it take a license to fly?

no license, it has FAA ultralight designation, though, so it follows those laws. The company has a training course you have to go through to fly one, though.
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Re: Jetpacks soon to be a semi-affordable reality

Postby Woopate » Sun Mar 14, 2010 6:36 am UTC

nbonaparte wrote:
Woopate wrote:8,000 feet (above Sea Level, I assume) is a rather impressive altitude for something that has a 30 minute runtime, and seems a little dangerous. I'd hope that it forced descent once it reaches critical fuel. Is it required to follow civil aviation standards (aka, have a transponder, an Emergency Locator Transmitter, a two-way radio, an altimeter, Vertical speed indicator, etc.)? Does it take a license to fly?

no license, it has FAA ultralight designation, though, so it follows those laws. The company has a training course you have to go through to fly one, though.


Ahh, ultralight, makes sense. Phew, was nervous about having to watch for crash landing celebrities.

EDIT: Seriously, first thing I thought of when I saw this was some dumbass on MTV sending one of these through a building roof.

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Re: Jetpacks soon to be a semi-affordable reality

Postby Jahoclave » Sun Mar 14, 2010 6:54 am UTC

So, essentially, jetpacks, soon to be more affordable than getting sick.

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Re: Jetpacks soon to be a semi-affordable reality

Postby wst » Sun Mar 14, 2010 1:42 pm UTC

I think you could improve efficiency and speed by flying horizontally, using the engines for thrust and a wing for lift.
Like this (see spoiler), but with ducted fans.

Spoiler:
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Re: Jetpacks soon to be a semi-affordable reality

Postby Technical Ben » Sun Mar 14, 2010 2:14 pm UTC

Now that one is a real jet pack!
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Re: Jetpacks soon to be a semi-affordable reality

Postby kiklion » Sun Mar 14, 2010 2:21 pm UTC

ok first thing xkcd forums look good on a kindle. second work is 27 miles by road. probably 20 by air. would cost me bout 30 dollars a day to get to work on it. but my company reimburses 50 cents per mile so its a wash bringing it to clients and i think a jetpack might convince some people to choose my it group over others.

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Re: Jetpacks soon to be a semi-affordable reality

Postby SlyReaper » Sun Mar 14, 2010 2:29 pm UTC

Wings would be good, but it does make the whole thing more bulky. It's pretty bulky already without adding to it. Unless there's a way to fold the wings in when not in use...
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Re: Jetpacks soon to be a semi-affordable reality

Postby wst » Sun Mar 14, 2010 2:32 pm UTC

SlyReaper wrote:Wings would be good, but it does make the whole thing more bulky. It's pretty bulky already without adding to it. Unless there's a way to fold the wings in when not in use...
The ones I linked *do* fold in. He jumps from a plane and they deploy as he falls. He had a few problems when he was using 2 actuators - if one failed, he'd enter an unrecoverable spin. The wing can be jettisoned (and has its own parachute), while the pilot parachutes himself down.
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Re: Jetpacks soon to be a semi-affordable reality

Postby Technical Ben » Sun Mar 14, 2010 6:15 pm UTC

wst wrote:
SlyReaper wrote:Wings would be good, but it does make the whole thing more bulky. It's pretty bulky already without adding to it. Unless there's a way to fold the wings in when not in use...
The ones I linked *do* fold in. He jumps from a plane and they deploy as he falls. He had a few problems when he was using 2 actuators - if one failed, he'd enter an unrecoverable spin. The wing can be jettisoned (and has its own parachute), while the pilot parachutes himself down.


Aerodynamically unfolding wings would be great. Only thing to worry about then is material failure I suppose.
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Re: Jetpacks soon to be a semi-affordable reality

Postby Sockmonkey » Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:21 am UTC

Unless you can bring the weight in under 20 or 30 kilos (and thus light enough to actually "wear") it's kind of dumb to shape it as a "jet pack" rather than a star wars style speeder bike type of vehicle.

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Re: Jetpacks soon to be a semi-affordable reality

Postby dragon » Mon Mar 15, 2010 8:44 am UTC

I would be able to make a round trip to work on that, easy. Want! They don't have a secure jetpack parking area at work though, and I'm pretty sure it would mysteriously vanish if it wasn't securely locked up.

For ease of wheeling it into a garage or similar, you'd hope it had, you know, wheels.
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Re: Jetpacks soon to be a semi-affordable reality

Postby General_Norris » Mon Mar 15, 2010 12:16 pm UTC

Man I'm having not one but TEN orgasms just thinking of me flying to College in one of those beauties.

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Re: Jetpacks soon to be a semi-affordable reality

Postby SlyReaper » Mon Mar 15, 2010 12:41 pm UTC

I bet they're noisy as hell. I notice they didn't have any sound in those videos, just a backing track.
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Re: Jetpacks soon to be a semi-affordable reality

Postby Zorlin » Mon Mar 15, 2010 1:11 pm UTC

Mysterious wizard rabbit of unknown proportions.

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Re: Jetpacks soon to be a semi-affordable reality

Postby Dauric » Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:09 pm UTC

Zorlin wrote:http://news.discovery.com/videos/tech-nasas-puffin-your-personal-aircraft.html

^ This.


Reminds me of the (failed) Navy "Pogo". Still no trunk space.
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Re: Jetpacks soon to be a semi-affordable reality

Postby Decker » Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:39 pm UTC

I seem to be one of the few people who finds the concept of strapping myself into one of these things as terrifying. I'm no worried about running out of gas. I'm worried about introducing myself to a brick wall or the ground at 63 MPH.
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