Aircraft

The Speeder: Jetpack Aviation opens pre-orders on jet powered flying motorcycle

Jetpack Aviation is taking orders now on its US$380,000 jet turbine-powered flying motorcycl;e
Jetpack Aviation is taking orders now on its US$380,000 jet turbine-powered flying motorcycl;e
View 5 Images
Jetpack Aviation is taking orders now on its US$380,000 jet turbine-powered flying motorcycl;e
1/5
Jetpack Aviation is taking orders now on its US$380,000 jet turbine-powered flying motorcycl;e
Speeds of 150mph and altitudes of 15,000 feet are theoretically possible
2/5
Speeds of 150mph and altitudes of 15,000 feet are theoretically possible
The Speeder will have VTOL capability
3/5
The Speeder will have VTOL capability
The consumer version - 20 will be made - will use four turbojets in a self-stabilizing configuration
4/5
The consumer version - 20 will be made - will use four turbojets in a self-stabilizing configuration
The Speeder will fly on kerosene, JetA or diesel fuel
5/5
The Speeder will fly on kerosene, JetA or diesel fuel

Jetpack Aviation has leap-frogged its own flying car project with the announcement that it's taking pre-orders now on a self-stabilizing, jet turbine-powered flying motorcycle capable of 150 mph speeds, 20 minute endurance and 15,000 ft altitudes.

The Speeder builds on JPA's jet turbine expertise, developed over the years working on the company's astounding JB-series jetpacks. It uses a cluster of four turbojet engines putting out a combined maximum thrust of 705 lbf – enough to lift the 231-lb (105 kg) airframe and a pilot up to 240 lb (109 kg).

Crucially, they're also rigged up to a fly-by-wire control system that allows the Speeder to self-stabilize in the air, much like a quadcopter drone. Running on kerosene, JetA or diesel, you can get yourself between 10 and 22 minutes in the air, dependent on pilot weight and density altitude.

The Speeder will have VTOL capability
The Speeder will have VTOL capability

It's got hand controls, a 12-inch touch screen for navigation, and a built-in two-way aviation radio system for air-to-air and air-to-ground communications. JPA says it will build different versions to fit ultralight and recreational categories under FAA law, meaning you'll be able to fly the ultralight version with no license at all. The experimental category version will need a full pilot's license, but JPA is in contact with the FAA, trying to have that reduced to a Recreational Pilot Certificate or Sport Pilot's License to make life easier.

Like the JB-series jetpacks – and indeed the Zapata Flyboard – it's more or less a tilt-to-accelerate kind of deal, so it'll be interesting to see how that's achieved via the controls. In terms of safety, well, there's some redundancy built into the system, and it can still self-stabilize if one of the jets goes down. Any more than that, and you'll be wishing you took the bus that day – but we've spoken to JPA CEO David Mayman in the past about ballistic parachute systems and death zone recovery options, so we know that safety will be high on the company's list of priorities.

The consumer version - 20 will be made - will use four turbojets in a self-stabilizing configuration
The consumer version - 20 will be made - will use four turbojets in a self-stabilizing configuration

It doesn't have fold-down jet wheels and alleged road riding capability like Lazareth's possibly fanciful Moto Volante. At 120 decibels, it's going to be a ton noisier than Dezso Molnar's GSXR-powered G2 gyrobike. And at a price of US$380,000, it's gonna hit the hip pocket far harder than the Hoversurf Scorpion multirotor or the late Larry Neal's sub-US$40k Super Sky Cycle. But it does have David Mayman and Nelson Tyler behind it, who have proven their personal aviation credentials with hundreds of jetpack flights to date, and are taking the whole personal flight thing very seriously.

They've now got the resources of the Y Combinator program behind them as well, so there's every indication Jetpack Aviation is getting ready to go big in the coming months and years.

As to the Speeder, the company plans to build just 20 for the time being. You can reserve one yourself now for US$10,000. After that, all production will be dedicated to military and government use. The military version will be slightly different, with an additional jet turbine for redundancy and extra lift, and the capability to remote-fly it as a drone or cargo carrier.

We plan to catch up with David Mayman in the next few days to learn more, but in the meantime, check out a rendered video below.

Source: Jetpack Aviation

Introducing our flying Motorcycle: THE SPEEDER

22 comments
JOC
I look forward to these, and all related, silly vehicles being banned.
anthony88
When it breaks down, you sit by the roadside strapped in that position so passers by can kick you up the bum for being stupid enough for buying one of these and making all that noise.
jd_dunerider
Please, please sweet baby Jesus, give us an alien energy source capable of flying these for a near infinite amount of time without charging or refueling. It is a silly vehicle, but only because 10-20 minutes of flight time is nearly useless for any practical purpose. I would absolutely love to fly one of these with a safety parachute.
guzmanchinky
Insanity. Which is probably how people felt about the train, the car, the airplane...
toyhouse
Between ten and twenty mins of flying time. $380,000 price tag. One hundred twenty decibels! Hmm. Sounds like a headache. Military uses perhaps. Flying anywhere near the general masses for recreation?,....not so good. But folks who have the money - have at it. Do try to give the wildlife a break though.
Nik
It looks like, if you loosen your grip on the controls, you'll get left behind, and the two vehicles can then elope by themselves, leaving a red splodge below.
The Bishop of D
Good luck getting LSA certification for something powered by four turbine engines. It's far more likely that the machine would require a type rating for the pilot.
jerryd
I can do better than this with just 2 rotors and on battery this example is so bad. And far better for the military. Small jets suck fuel and produce little thrust/lb of fuel, a terrible choice. And the military did a stand up in a box with a single more efficient jet version 20+ yrs ago better than this. But both have a problem in that they can't carry the soldier's gear along with the soldier. A simple seat with a battery under it and twin counter rotating rotors controlled like a Gyro can carry the soldier and their load farther than this one silently. These have been built, sold as kits at least by EAA people though with a gasoline engine.
flyerfly
As mentioned already one of the primary problems with these is the price. There are certain entities (government) that will try to justify them...but it will be normal people that will have to carry that burden on their backs...the jets won't be helping that much when it comes to the already burdensome tax rates....
midas
Looks like an excellent (and expensive) way to get oneself killed.....