Gas Turbine Jetpack – Test Pilots Wanted

Feeling brave and ready to strap on this jet pack? Well, that’s not all of it. What you see above is just the manifold with two nozzles that can be aimed for control. The gas turbine engine that is being designed for the project will attach to the large circular coupling on top. The finished suit, called a Monocopter, should weigh in at about 265 pounds. That kind of weight makes us think they should include a robotic exoskeleton to help support it during takeoff, landing, and just when standing around. This thing already looks like it belongs to a villain from the Megaman series. Here’s hoping it’s used for good and not to help produce an army of mean robots.

[Thanks Rob]

42 thoughts on “Gas Turbine Jetpack – Test Pilots Wanted

  1. This looks HIGHLY dangerous. I should think that just the shear weight alone, lets not even include the noise this thing would make, is going to kill someone. If you are going to test this at all i suggest a volunteer of a convict, someone who is already slated for the death sentence.
    A complete waste of time and money in my opinion.

  2. Yeah, that’s really where you want to place yourself: Between two incredibly hot exhaust tubes. Unless the pilot has an asbestos suit as well, it’s gonna be fly and fry. And the fly part is still a maybe.

    I see there’s a third tube in the rear which is good, otherwise the CG would be way off. Looks to me like the pilot’s feet are going to get too much blast.

  3. Take a look at his page and you will see that the large shroud at the backside is kind of an impeller. This impeller simply moves air through the four manifolds. The impeller itself is powered by a outer ring of turbine blades which are driven by the jet engine.

    The design and build quality of this thing is pretty slick. I follow the monocopter for years now, but sadly there is no update for a long time now.

    Check out this side also (only german):

  4. The fuel tank (to respond to the many queries) is a blivet hanging on a tether and contacts last upon take off. > Like a testicle, it is similarly adjoined to the operator/pilot’s groin. Why not? This mound is not leaving the ground anyway.

  5. I’m thinking no… thanks, I’ll fly coach. Ain’t going to get very far anyway, with its power plant attached to a wall! :-D And how old is this link? They have a .avi file for video, not a YouTube link. What’s up with that?

  6. As some have mentioned, this isn’t shooting fire or even hot air. It’s a turbine that propels cool air downward. I doubt this will be able to fly very high (more than about 50ft max), as it would mostly be ground effect.

  7. > Looks to me like the pilot’s feet are going to get too much blast.

    There will be a cook-off… [heh]

    No, actually, if you _read_ the article, you will see that the three nozzles in the picture only conduct cold air. There is a fourth hot — very hot — nozzle coming off the gas turbine mounted on top (not in this picture) pointing more or less backwards with a steerable diffuser.

    The danger to the operator, other than just falling from altitude due to engine failure, appears to be the usual turbine failure modes — in which case you will probably be ripped to shreds before you hit the ground — or control failure.

    The control failures are (at least) failures of the nozzle controls, and failure of the dynamic flight controls. The flight control software to keep this thing stable has to be #1 on my list of worries. (See LLRV crash caused by mechanical, and JAS Gripen crash caused by flight dynamics software failure.)

  8. Sorry, but if they are just using the FAN to blast air through the tubes it will never make enough thrust to lift off. I understand they are going to use a turbine to power the fan, but even 50k RPM doesn’t sound like enough to do it, given the small size of the fan.

    That’s like asking that new multi-purpose fighter we’re building to lift off with just the fan. (F-35?) — That requires a fan up front and jet thrust in the rear.

    They’d have been better off with a dual-ducted-fan approach, using two small gas turbines.

  9. Bell Aerosystems built a turbine-powered jet pack in the early 1970s. (it was in Popular Science, but I haven’t time to find the link just now.) Unlike the Rocket Belt, which used corrosive hydrogen peroxide propellant and could only fly for twenty seconds, the Jet Belt could fly at 60 miles per hour for half an hour. The exhaust nozzles extended well away from the operator on either side, which not only mitigated some of the heat but made the controls more effective than if they’d been closer to the centerline.

    This design looks interesting, but I don’t know if they’ve thought the matter through.

  10. At nearly 300 pounds, any significant negative acceleration at landing will remove and/or render useless the wearer’s legs by a variety of painful failure modes.

    That said, the chap building it obviously has the money and engineering cred to give it a proper go. Best of luck to him.

  11. you’ll need some kind of exoskeleton/ultralight(aircraft) frame.
    500+ lb is impossible for the average flyboy.
    Also isn’t there considerable reaction torque as with a helicopters.

  12. I too have followed this project. as for the negative comments- not that long ago all your grandma’s were talking about these crazy ass bicycle shop owners who think they can defy God and fly like a bird.

    Andreas’s work is impressive. Richard Brown is doing pretty well also-
    I run a few turbine user groups and most of these guys are members.

    turbines are fun! pistons and cranks are so yesterday….

  13. @turbochris
    Turbines are great and should be used!… but not necessarily strapped to my back.

    I’d be quite afraid of crushing myself wearing that. Give me an emergency poweroff and a quick disconnect and I’d consider it.

  14. Whilst the engineering and manufacture looks respectable, I had to shake my head in disbelief at the use of vectored thrust nozzles… what a crap-load of complexity and extra weight for something that the Bell rocket belt dealt with by simply shifting the pilot’s body. That idea is proven, so this guy could have made a pivoting harness… but didn’t.
    More moving parts = more things to go wrong. It seems the designer is more interested in using hi-tech materials like Inconel, titanium, cf etc. than thinking about a safe way of getting down in an engine failure.

    No-one would want to fly in this, at best it would only ever be tethered hops with a safety line.

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