Ooh, I hope it turns into a fighting robot.
Not too long ago, I was hopelessly trapped in a massive traffic jam trying to get home on a Friday. As my mind was wandering, I thought about how traffic jams wouldn’t be a problem if we could all fly somehow. Since we’re not Kryptonians, though, the only way we’re making that happen is with flying vehicles. This is why I hope JetPack Aviation is able to develop their flying motorcycle sooner rather than later.
Startup company JetPack Aviation recently took their concept for a flying motorcycle, tentatively named “Speeder” (and yes, that is a Star Wars reference) to a bevy of investors in the hopes of raising prototype money. They walked out $2 million richer and with the blessings of several prolific businessmen and women, so this is probably happening. In their plans for the Speeder, JetPack outlines a vehicle that can either be pilot-controlled or remote controlled, but will be fully air-stabilized either way. It will be capable of clean vertical takeoff and landing, and could reach speeds up to 400 MPH. Unlike a lot of VTOL prototypes there’s no exposed rotors or anything, so that substantially reduces the risk of sticking your foot where you shouldn’t mid-flight.
JetPack’s CEO, David Mayman, believes the Speeder could be developed and deployed as early as sometime in the next few years thanks to one big difference: turbine propulsion over battery-powered flight. In a statement to TechCrunch, Mayman explained that “current battery energy density is just too low for most electrically powered VTOLs to be truly practical.” If JetPack can get a prototype off the ground (both metaphorically and literally) it’ll probably start a trial run with the military as an emergency or cargo vehicle before they consider a commercial roll-out. Put me down for one if they do; if I get stuck in another Friday traffic jam, I’m going to lose my mind.