My name is Toni Langer and I’m 23 years old. I’m a trained electronics technician for devices and systems and I have a project that I’m currently working on: I want to build a jet suit! I’m looking for people who are passionate about this project and want to collaborate with me.
Richard Browning with his company Gravity Industries and several others have already shown and proven that it’s possible! I think we can do better and together we can construct something that is intuitive, stable, and safe to control.
I live near Berlin and I’m specifically looking for people who have experience with small engines for model building and corresponding software, as well as proficiency in CAD software. If you have these skills or know someone who might be interested, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Here’s my basic concept:
I want to create an easy and intuitively controllable apparatus that can hover and transition into flight at will. Think of a drone (as an object! I do not plan to arrange jet engines squarely around me), the drone itself knows much more about its current situation than you could possibly keep track of. It knows its exact location and orientation and it constantly balances itself in midair. With your remote, you basically just tell it in which direction you want it to go, and it flies itself in that direction. I want to develop a jet suit that incorporates this concept. Not having to worry about how to fly, only where to. Eliminating the need for elevated upper body strength and extensive training sessions.
So why model engines?
Well, the term model engine may be a bit overspecific. Small engines that are not intended for model building but have a similar size are also available. But generally, they provide the most thrust in the smallest form factor. The market is established and will not disappear anytime soon. So spare parts will continue to be available. Additionally, they can be operated with a variety of fuels. The most common is kerosene, which is easily obtainable. So they, and in a broader sense the jetpack, can be operated with readily available fuel that doesn’t tend to spontaneously ignite.
Why not EDFs?
For one, because they don’t provide enough thrust individually, so you would have to bundle a large number of them together to generate the necessary thrust. This creates a certain redundancy, which would be good. But another crucial disadvantage is the energy density of the batteries. The battery pack would have to be incredibly large and therefore heavy to ensure decent flight time. This would in turn require more EDFs. The whole thing would quickly become extremely cumbersome and impractical. Another disadvantage is that, unlike the fuel tank, the battery pack does not get lighter when it discharges, but rather maintains its weight. And I think we’ve all seen videos of what happens when such a battery shorts internally.
Of course, the idea of a quiet jetpack that can be easily charged at an outlet and offers a high degree of engine failure safety is tempting. But I think the disadvantages outweigh the advantages here. If I have the choice between strapping 10L of kerosene or a 200-cell lithium-ion battery that draws several hundred watts or kilowatts from my back, I’d rather take the kerosene. And let’s not even start with rocket engines… highly toxic and flammable fuel, special and heavy tanks necessary, poor fuel availability, etc.
I have noted the following questions and issues:
• Danger from fragments of spontaneously disintegrating engines
• Normal operation of the engine susceptible to small air bubbles in the fuel line
• Insurance? What to do in case of personal injury?
• Legal requirements for approval?
• Test site?
• Patent protection? Which solutions are even worth protecting?
This list will probably grow enormously! Please think about everything that can go wrong and write it down here. I want to get an overview of the most pressing issues so that we have kind of a bucket list that we can then solve point by point.
A few words about marketing and sales.
I don’t think there are many people who would buy a jetpack for 500k or more. However, I believe there is a huge market for people who want to fulfill their dream of flying with a jetpack for a day. What is missing is a device and a location that allows this to be done safely. We can discuss what the flight location should look like when we get there.
The project will be financed by me in the beginning, so don’t worry about that.
I would be very happy to hear from you and I hope that we can create something great together!