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AirVenture 2008 - Day 2

by John M. White |

Tuesday's big disappointment turns out the be the Martin Jetpack hich did not exactly live up to the expectations of the AirVenture crowd.  As luck would have it I was watching a movie just before retiring for the night last night and lo and behold it was "The Rocketeer".   This 1991 classic showed a much more primitive and compact version of a flying jet pack, but seems to demonstrate some of the problems inherent in such devices. Mj018

As I turned the movie off The Rocketeer was destroying a restaurant flying above tables and the stage setting everything on fire.  Great fun, I am sure, but not for me - no way Hersch!

Well, as you can see by the attached photographs the Martin Jetpack does not have a jet engine, but rather ducted fans, which - with a lot of practice, I am sure - can be controlled with joysticks to control where this thing takes you.  At 250 pounds it can fly about 30 miles on 5 gallons of fuel at 60+ mph, and qualifies as an ultralight. Mj06

I wonder how many lined up to purchase one of these beauties?

In still another thrilling adventure "Rocket Racing" debuted at Oshkosh with a Velocity homebuilt and 1,500 pound thrust rocket engine attached roared down the runway, straight up into the sky - turned the engine off - glided for a bit - then rocketed off again!  This thing can apparently get to speeds above 300 mph. 

Again, this thing is not for this ol' boy Hersch!  Thrills a'plenty, I am sure! Rrl_pic

On a more mundane note Rutan and Branson updated everyone on their space flight plans and unvieled a video of WhiteKnightTwo at Mojave on Monday last.  They filled the crowd with thoughts of orbiting resort hotels and looping trips around the moon for those with the scratch.  Ah to be young, rich and full of adventure!

Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch!


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