Jetpack Aviation (JPA), which already makes vertical people propellers, just announced a successful test flight of its jet-driven flying motorcycle prototype. The California company plans to produce two consumer versions for everyday users.
The Speeder is an engineering feat that required Jetpack Aviation to write its own flight-control software program to monitor and adjust the thrust. The benefit of that work, which took a year and a half, is an intuitive system that functions like a typical motorcycle and automatically stabilizes the machine in flight. It can take off and land vertically from most surfaces in roughly the space taken up by a car, and it can be programmed to fly autonomously. The Speeder’s design team said the sci-fi sky-bike recently passed flight tests. They expect it to be commercially available by 2023
“We could have an ultralight version [which requires no pilot’s license] ready within two years and an experimental category version within six months after that,” Jetpack Aviation CEO David Mayman told Robb Report. “The ultralight version would be limited to 60 mph (FAA rules) and a flight time of 15 minutes. The experimental version would require a basic pilot’s license to fly. The speed of this version would be approximately 250 mph with a flight time of about 35 minutes.”
The Speeder will come in two recreational models, an ultralight craft that can fly at 60 mph and a 250-mph experimental version that requires an FAA pilot’s license.
JPA puts the initial price for the consumer versions at $381,000. They’ve already begun taking preorders.
Story credit: Virginia Department of Aviation; https://doav.virginia.gov/