JetPack Aviation this week said it is ready to start taking preorders for its Speeder VTOL vehicle, which is being developed for various applications including personal transportation, military operations, and emergency medical support. It has not yet published a purchase price for the product.
In May, the California-based company completed flight testing of its initial prototype and it is preparing to start trials with another prototype, designated P1.5, before advancing to a P2 prototype during the first quarter of 2022, and then a P3 pre-certification version by the end of next year.
Flight testing of the P1 unit started back in December 2020 using tethers to reach altitudes of around 80 feet, demonstrating takeoff, climb, hover, yaw, and slow transitions to vertical flight. The trials evaluated the engine gimbal, articulated exhaust nozzles, and flight controller.
Last month, the California-based company announced plans to prepare the Speeder to run on “fuel from air” technology being developed by Prometheus Fuels. The Titan Fuel Forge technology reclaims atmospheric carbon through a proprietary process that strips carbon dioxide (CO2) molecules from the air and “energizes” them into hydrocarbons that can be made into any type of fuel. Currently, the Speeder burns Jet-A aviation fuel, kerosene, or diesel.
Like the P1, the P1.5 prototype will have four engines, while the series production model will have eight. The P2 prototype Speeder will have a fully formed body, small wings that can be removed, and forward canards. The wings can be removed to make the aircraft easier to transport in a road vehicle.
The VTOL vehicle is designed to operate in and out of a footprint of just 10 by 10 feet on the ground and at speeds of up to 150 mph. It has a projected payload of around 600 pounds and flight endurance of between 11 and 30 minutes.