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Safe and Affordable Jetpack: Just $90,000

Just the thing to get into town... wonder if they make a 4 jet model?
Notice... standard gasoline and a half hour of fly time per tank. Of course this is not a Richo invention but every now and then I like to showcase really cool inventions by others here.

Sent to you by RicRicho via Google Reader:

via Gadget Lab by Charlie Sorrel on 3/9/10

martin-aircraft-jetpack-4For years, man has been trying to build a jetpack which would actually be safe and cheap enough to be used by anyone other than Lee Majors on the title sequence of The Fall Guy. It turns out that we've been doing it wrong. Instead of starting with a pack and adding on the jet, we should have torn the giant engines from a plane and strapped them to some poor schmuck. This is what the New Zealand Martin Aircraft Company did, resulting in the Martin Jetpack.
The jetpack is made from carbon fiber, with a touch of kevlar in the rotors, and generates 600 pounds of thrust. Because the center of gravity is below the "center of thrust" (a notional point between the engines), it is self-righting: If the pilot lets go of the controls, he hovers steadily in one spot. Unlike other sci-fi vehicles, the jetpack doesn't require plutonium or even garbage for power. Instead, it runs on ordinary gasoline, chugging down around 10 gallons per hour (a full tank of five gallons will give you half an hour of flight time, enough to get you to the office).
Martin's jetpack is classed as an ultralight aircraft, so you don't need a pilot's license fly it. Martin will force buyers to undergo training first, though. As its FAQ so rightly points out: "to attempt to fly any aircraft without professional instruction is extremely foolhardy." There are some safety features, though. If the engine dies, a parachute pops out like an airbag in a car, so the only thing you need worry about is crashing into passing planes.
Want one? Of course you do. Right now you're looking at a 12-month wait, and you'll have to pay 10 percent upfront, but at just shy of $90,000 — the same as a fancy sports car — it's actually a pretty good deal. And just imagine landing this thing on the forecourt of the local gas station.
The Martin Jetpack [Martin]
The Future Is Here: Jetpacks Now Commercially Available [Wired: Geek Dad]

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