Mechanical Menagerie Compilation #4: Personal Flight

Gravity Industries

Since everyone is already making the Iron Man comparison I might as well mention the strong resemblance to the character created by Marvel. Gravity Industries is a company started by Richard Browning to develop his Gravity Daedalus Suit. The suit is several mini-jets designed to create enough propulsion so that a human can be lifted off the ground and float in midair. This has drawn Iron Man comparisons because the exhausts were placed near his hands and feet, just like Iron Man. But don’t think it’s easy. To be able to operate the jets requires immense physical strength so it’s not exactly for everyone. Check it out and see if you’d like to join him since he’s looking for help from talented engineers (hint hint).

Gravity Industries

Hoversurf

Scorpion-3 is a hoverbike developed by Hoversurf Inc. which actually does hover. It is designed with a seat, controls in front of you and four large rotors around the bike. If you can imagine a large drone that you can ride you’re pretty close. Or just look below too. If you think about helicopters this technology isn’t really advanced. We’re just taking the rotor and making it smaller. If the bike had a longer battery life and could move at faster speeds you could make a case for using it for recreational purposes or even sports. Unfortunately the safety issue of falling out of the sky will still remain present. However if they prove it is safe enough it could easily catch on since air based sports have yet to catch on. We have car or motorcycle based sports or even simpler recreations like bumper cars or go-karts. But air based sports? They haven’t quite caught up. By the way, you can BUY one of these hoverboards. They also have a variety of other similar projects in the works. You even get a fancy racing-style jumpsuit and helmet.

Hoversurf

Vultran Tyger 1

The following design is an interesting futuristic interpretation of drone based technology expanded into a larger flight vehicle, similar in size to a helicopter but shaped closer to how quadcoptors look.  The Vultran Tyger 1 is a highly advanced design which already looks like it’s planned for future drone racing.

Vultran Tyger 1

Zapata Air

Zapata Racing, a company founded by Franky Zapata (a professional jet-skier), has developed a hoverboard called Flyboard Air. Its statistics are quite impressive as stated by their main site, “Autonomous flight up to 10,000 feet, Top speed of 150km/h (93,2 mph) and 10 min autonomy”. Plus it looks amazingly fun. I’m just concerned over how stable it is in the air. Were it to malfunction or run out of fuel a parachute won’t exactly help you. Aside from this it will certainly catch on due to the mobility it grants you.

Flyboard Air

 

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