From the dusty hills and rolling valleys of California comes a motorcycle that, to be honest, would have flown completely over my head (pun intended), had I not checked the morning’s lists.
Check out the release trailer on JetPack Aviation’s social media platform for a virtual flight test, as well as an in-depth account of how the company plans on using the machine for operation.
Here is what we currently know.
According to a report from AutoEvolution, a full-scale P1.0 hovercraft test was completed with successful results recently, paving the way for the production of their P1.5 platform.
The hoverbike (patent that, mates) will be sold in a limited quantity of 20 pieces to the populace, with future production dedicated specifically to military and government use.
This project has been ten years in the making and one that David Mayman, JetPack Aviation’s CEO and Founder, is quite excited about.
“THE SPEEDER is very small, about the size of a motorcycle. It can take off vertically. It can fly over 200 mi/hr. It can lift 450 lbs. It can either be fully autonomous, or piloted, or remotely controlled.”, says Mayman on his company’s social media platform video.
The move to release an animated test flight during the Agility Prime 2020 Virtual Trade Show was a good one, too – for this put the company right under the noses of investors eager to take part in a share of the next big thing.
Curious what kind of energy they used? Believe it or not, they used turbine power, not electricity – and Mayman is convinced its the way to go.
“We are not waiting for the energy density of batteries at JetPack Aviation. We are using turbine power – and the reason is that if you want a small aircraft, it is simply impossible to achieve the kind of missions that our customers want and that other people want from electrically powered aircraft.”
“The energy density of batteries is just not great enough, and nobody honestly knows when that’s going to improve – so we’re not waiting.”
THE SPEEDER will be available in three versions – a recreational model, a model christened the ‘MILITARY SPEEDER’ (geared toward supporting troops and first responders), and a third labeled the ‘CARGO SPEEDER’ – a model that has thus far been identified as a military model with a cargo hold up top (in which case, expect this one to be autonomous or piloted, without a rider).
The bike’s base price will be around $380,000 USD for the recreational version, likely more for the other two.
Here’s where the successes of the company are apparent.
The weight of the bike craft will be 231 lbs (105 kg) and will be able to punch out a max thrust of 705 lbs (320 kg), capable of blasting the speeder through 150 mph (241 kph).
Be careful to check your Google Maps – a turbo engine is all well and lovely but will at present only be able to keep you in the air for 22 minutes.
The Military speeder will be even more of a beastie, providing a max thrust of up to 1,200 lbs (544 kg) and capable of keeping a rider in the air for up to 30 minutes.
The 20 pieces currently available to pre-order are likely all accounted for in the recreational department – best keep your eyes open for a test run of these things at the next motorcycle show!