DailyDirt: Personal Flying Machines

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

It wasn't that long ago that people were highly skeptical of the entire concept of human flight. A few crazy people dressed up in bird-inspired outfits with wings and tried to jump from various heights in order to fly or glide -- and they were generally met with mockery. Nowadays, we know just how hard it is to achieve human-powered flight, but it has been achieved -- in several different ways. The Igor I. Sikorsky Human-Powered Helicopter Prize was awarded in 2013, and the Kremer Prize was won back in 1977. If you're not willing to work up a sweat, check out some of these aircraft. After you've finished checking out those links, take a look at our Daily Deals for cool gadgets and other awesome stuff.

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  • icon
    Ehud Gavron (profile), 12 Apr 2016 @ 6:05pm

    Ultralight ... and jetpacks... and politics

    Ultralight aircraft as per 14CFR103 do not require a pilot to be certificated. However, there are other restrictions that make most ultralights not actually be able to fly under that part of the regulations. Pilots therefore do have to be certificated, hold a medical certificate as well, and do biennial flight reviews. http://www.usua.org/faq.htm

    Specifically in this case, a "Jetpack" doesn't fit the definition of 14CFR103.1(4) by having a stall speed in excess of the allowed maximum of 24 knots. In layman's terms that means "Hey if the jetpack stopped producing thrust, how fast do you glide to keep from plopping into the ground." This is directly related to wing size and even wingsuit flyers have a stall speed in excess of twice that.

    So forget about the 5gal fuel limit ... jetpacks will not be flown as ultralights...

    Personal flying devices have been a dream of lots of people. Don't worry, neither law-enforcement nor the insurance lobby will ever let that be something you can do. There's not going to be any way to "enforce the laws" with that many people able to operate; the insurance companies would hate the unending liability; neither side will allow this to be made lawful.

    The next time someone says "personal flying machine" or "flying car" "without needing a license" you can just smile and nod because that's not happening ever.

    Ehud Gavron
    FAA Commercial Pilot - Helicopter
    Tucson AZ US

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Richard (profile), 13 Apr 2016 @ 4:39am

    Ther is a betterJetpack already out there

    Huh - the Martin aircraft one is still futureware - but there is already one flying.

    Look HERE http://jetpackaviation.com/

    Not hard to find - surprised you missed it!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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