Jet packs! Get your jet packs here!

If you act now you can get one of 500 commercially available jet packs for a mere $80K.

To Infinity! And beyond!

Cool!

Pity there’s a recession on in their intended US market. Finding buyers might be more difficult that, say, 5 years ago.

Martin Jetpack Website

I will confirm that, as described, they do, in fact, conform to Part 103 Ultralight regulations for the United States which, indeed, do not require a license. I will also say that, as they constantly repeat on the website, flying one without training would be pretty effing stupid. Other counties will almost certainly impose some sort of licensing/training requirements as none, to my knowledge, are as loose about that sort of thing as the US.

Although called a “jet pack” it is not, in fact, jet propelled at all. On the other hand, as they say on the website, just about anyone looking at the thing is going to say “jet pack”. It’s actually a rotorcraft.

Needless to say, this thing would have the glide profile of a brick if the engine(s) quit. Good on them to make a ballistic recovery system a standard feature. I have some concerns that the thing is designed to provide protection in a 30 foot fall, but the BRS system as I know it isn’t considered reliable under 100 feet which leaves a 70 foot window of worry to my mind. It’s not that the thing won’t deploy at less that 100 feet - it will - but rather will the 'chute open up enough and break your fall before you hit the ground from 100 feet? On the other hand, the system has worked at slightly less 100 feet on a few occasions. Perhaps they’ve worked all this out, it is certainly possible. BRS systems have been around for a few decades now, they can certainly save your life (although it is not 100% guaranteed, nothing is in aviation).

The time limit of 30 minutes is more imposed by FAA ultralight regulations than by physics. In theory, in the US at least, you could install a bigger fuel tank and extend the flight time - but that would start to require licensing and the fact there are two engines makes that complicated and I’m sure had a lot to do with designing this to conform to Part 103. Likewise, other countries may or may not be able to bring this under their regulations at this time.

I have not done the research (yet) but while designing a more capable version (more flight time, etc.) might be possible, such a thing might leapfrog over the lower level pilot certificates all the way to requiring a multi-engine rotorcraft license. Which would be Very Very Expensive.

I am curious how hellacious loud it is.

Bottom line - yeah, it works. It’s a flying “jet pacK”. But it’s a big chunk of change for a recreational vehicle by my reckoning.

Yes, you’d have to get the noise problem sorted out, otherwise people would be shooting them down like geese in the USA.

Great post Broomstick – thanks!

Hear, hear. Now this is a Jet Pack…none of that hydrogen-peroxide rocket nonsense, either. An honest to God turbojet, with a theoretical 25-minute endurance.

As one Mary Shafer from NASA Ames is quoted on that page, “Insisting on perfect safety is for people who don’t have the balls to live in the real world.”

I don’t think that’s right. The website only mentions a single engine. Good thing, too. The only reason it would have two engines is if it needed two engines, which means twice as many things that could break and make you plummet.

I’ve been away from flying for too long. What are the rules on ultralights operating in controlled airspace? Sure, you can fly it unlicensed out in the boonies, but they’re pitching this at city commuters.

It’s a single V4 2-stroke engine powering two ducted fans (maybe calling it a single occupancy VTOL light aircraft is better, if you’re taking it seriously). The article pitches it at city commuters, I have difficulty believing that’s who Martin is aiming it at. As with most things like this, I have to think it’s aimed at rich guys who love toys. I’m picturing Mark Cuban types tooling around their backyard.

It’s significantly larger than I expected. It looks like it stands on that tripod and then you step up against it and strap yourself on.

Overall, its probably a slight improvement over ultralight helicopters, but not as good as ultralight gyrocopters (which require a runway).

That looks like death on a stick.
(but fun all the way down)

Ah, my mistake. Yes, it does seem one engine drives two rotors. If that is the case then it might be possible to “upgrade” to a larger fuel tank or some such and fly it under the Sport Pilot Regs in the US. Might. As long as you were a rotorcraft Sport Pilot and a few other things applied. Hmm… interesting, as that would potentially increase the utility.

First - ultralight operations in controlled airspace are severely limited. You can fly in Class G (which is “uncontrolled”) or E as long as the E isn’t at an airport with a tower. (The US does not use “F” airspace). Anything else - you have to get prior authorization from the air traffic control facility with jurisdiction over that airspace. That is not impossible - I know people who did it - but it a pain in the butt and it does take considerable time.

Martin does NOT pitch this at city commuters, they state very plainly that they are not practical for that, it is the article in the OP which does that. Even where airspace is “E” the FAA takes a dim view of frequent ultralight operations over the average subdivision (again - from the experience of friends and myself). Basically, the FAA only wants ultralights to fly over things that won’t be damaged if said aircraft falls out of the sky. Note that the interest of the FAA is purely in bystander safety - they will happily let aviators kill themselves by doing dumb stuff so long as no one else is endangered.

Yes, very much aimed at “rich guys”.

Dude, I don’t know about you, but if I tried to strap a 250 pound object to MY back said object would win and gravity would take over, putting me either on my back on top of the thing or on my face with the thing on top of me.

Tripod is there there to make it practical to get in/out while on the ground.

So far as I know there still isn’t a true helicopter that really does conform to Part 103 (if someone has an example please enlighten me).

Well, yes, potentially death on a stick. That was true of the fixed wing ultralights I flew, too. They are NOT as safe as the airlines. They don’t have to be death traps, but they can be if you don’t know what you’re doing and/or do not properly maintain them and/or do not respect the limits of the machine and yourself. Ultralight flying is great fun and I don’t regret doing it. I do have regrets about friends either maimed or buried due to preventable mistakes.

Missed my chance to see it at Oshkosh. It’s definitely in the expensive toy category because $80,000 buys a nice used aircraft or a new sport aircraft.

Yeah, my commuting path goes very close to my local international airport. I don’t think they’d like that very much. Plus, I can just see touching down at the office and trying to wrestle that monstrosity into the building and stow it away somewhere safe.

Maybe you could chain it to a bicycle rack out front? Lamp post?

(No, I wouldn’t either)

People who conflate the desire not to drop out of the sky like a rock,with a demand for perfect safety should visit to the real world themselves occasionally.

Bah, the problem with the real world is that it has no style. Really, how many of us would be lucky to meet our end dropping out of the sky with a canister of shrieking turbine death strapped to our backs, compared to what’ll probably await us?

Ahem.

Lamp post wouldn’t work. Someone could just climb in, fly up over the top of the post, and away they go.