Jetpack Aviation Flying Motorcycle takes the skies! The prototype for "Speeder" was spotted testing its new flight control software in Southern California. The best part? It's open for commercial purchase!
A concept was proposed early in 2020 that showcased a motorcycle vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft called "Speeder." This jet turbine-powered motorcycle was teased to travel 300 mph up to 15,000 feet on air, Daily Mail reported. In design, it resembled most sci-fi-inspired flying motorcycles, built to fly and hover over any given terrain. Ironically, most sci-fi flying motorcycles and "Speeder" share one common factor: jet turbines.
Jetpack Aviation 'Speeder' Engine, Specs, and Prototype
David Mayman, a Jet Aviation inventor, introduced the idea on a virtual trade show, with its video uploaded on YouTube. However, he emphasized that his team used jet turbines for the vehicle because it is "impossible to achieve a small aircraft with high emissions with electric density batteries."
In theory, "Speeder" is a powerful miniature aircraft, about the size of a motorcycle, built to carry higher loads and up to two people at high speeds. It could be designed as fully autonomous or remotely and manually controlled.
New Atlas reported that the first prototype for this vehicle ended as a success. Equipped with jetovators--servo controlled nozzles that could adjust its output direction in 360 degrees--it helps the vehicle make quick balance corrections and carry out movements.
"Speeder" held itself to a stable hover using LiDAR technology. This prototype also completed its self-balancing feature, something that most VTOL systems continue to struggle with.
The potential for this amazing vehicle was immediately revealed to the US government. Designs are being made to use it for medical teams and rescue operations.
Mayman estimated that the "Speeder" could run 150 miles in 20 minutes on optimal performance while carrying 2,000 pounds.
Note, however, that the final aircraft design for "Speeder" is still being planned. Depending on its utility, the team proposed a "head-first, belly-down motorcycle-style riding position" or a "recumbent seat with the driver leaning back, resembling a flying go-kart."
Flying Motorcycle Spotted!
The "Speeder" is heavy in development, so the completion date is yet to be announced. For now, it is confirmed that a prototype version of this concept successfully flew and stabilized mid-air.
According to New Atlas, "Speeder" is being offered for commercial use. The customer version is likely designed as a single-seat machine with eight jet turbine engines. It could be offered in ultralight and experimental variants.
Ultralight drivers will not require any kind of pilot's license but are limited to 60mph speed and 5-gallon fuel capacity.
The experimental variant of "Speeder", on the other hand, would not require a private pilot's license. However, the model has no fuel or speed restrictions.
JPA is taking pre-orders for both models. Enthusiasts, industrial and government customers are welcome to make their purchases. A "Speeder" is estimated to cost $380,000 per unit. However, the price might also increase in the coming months, depending on its final product.