I Believe I Can Fly

YOU MAY THINK THAT PEOPLE CAN ONLY FLY USING PLANE OR WITH THE HELP OF A SPIDERMAN’S WEB, SOLAR POWER OR THE IMAGINATION OF AN AUTHOR. HOWEVER, WE ARE GOING TO TELL YOU ABOUT SIX MODERN INVENTIONS THAT CAN TAKE PEOPLE SOARING HIGH…OR GENTLY BRING THEM DOWN WHENEVER THEY WANT. FORGET ABOUT PARACHUTES AND GLIDERS, THERE ARE WINGS MADE OF STEEL AND PERSONAL JET ENGINES!


WINGSUIT

This is a special flight suit with webbed armsand feet. It has a similar design to the wing of the aircraft, air vents and ribs, designed to achieve maximum aerodynamic efficiency. Wingsuit can reduce the vertical velocity of falling from 200-270 km/h to 35-70 km / h, and increase the speed of horizontal flight from near-zero to 250 km/h. If a flying squirrel were an intelligent being, it could have sued inventors for copyright infringement on this type of flight. Wingsuit flying is a type of skydiving and a parachute is used while landing.

Despite the seeming obviousness of the idea of arm -wings, a workable wingsuit was designed only in the mid-1990s. History has preserved the names of 75 inventors of the “bat” wings, who tried to skydive wearing different designs of their invention. Almost all of them were killed. In response to this extremely high fatality rate in the 1950s, the American Federation of parachuting USPA even banned any type test of “bat” wings, and the ban was lifted only in the late 1980s.

It was only in the mid-1990s, the Frenchman Patrick de Gayardon invented the modern wingsuit, which consists of three wings instead of two. The wings are two-layered and inflatable by incident flow. The vertical component of the speed of 40-100 km / h allows to extend the flight before parachute opening up to three minutes or more. The best wingsuit flyers can fly horizontally considerable distances- 4 km for each km of height. In 2004 wingsuit flew across the Bosphorus, and in 2005- through the Strait of Gibraltar.

JET MAN

The brainchild of a Swiss inventor Yves Rossy. Yves Rossy made his first successful flight with two jet engines on June 24, 2004. Yves Rossi is more often referred to by his moniker – Jetman.
One of the features of the project is a complete lack of mechanization of the wing. The aircraft is managed at the expense of the center of mass displacement, but in contrast to the glider, where the pilot can move under the wing of a plane, in Yves Rossi’s aircraft the wing is firmly fixed on the back, and the pilot controls the flight only by moving his arms, legs and head. This flexibility is enough to perform aerobatics of varying complexity. The aircraft of Yves Rossy does not take off from the ground — the flyer has to leap from an airplane, helicopter or balloon. The aircraft is also equipped with its own parachute, which allows a soft landing if there is a need to reset the wing.

The weight of the latest backpack of 2012, with fully refilled tank (30 liters of kerosene)- is 55 kg, wingspan- 2 meters. Maximum speed- 300 km / h, the duration of the flight with fully fueled tank – 10 minutes.

Yves Rossy made many flights with his jet-powered wing: He flew over the English Channel (2008), flew over the Grand Canyon, as well as over the Swiss Alps in formation with two Swiss Air Force fighters. In November 2013, he circled the Japanese volcano Fuji nine times. In 2015, he participated in a pair flight around the Burj Khalifa (Dubai) with Vince Reffet.

GRYPHON

Griphon is a personal flying machine,a wing jet developed by a German company SPELCO GbR. The name was given in honour of the mythical winged creature.
The device is a cross between a plane and a jetpack. This wing powered by jet engines is attached to a man’s back and allows him to fly just like the heroes of comic books do.

The device is made on the basis of a small reconnaissance aircraft that SPELCO supplies the German Air Force with. The wing is made of a lightweight carbon-fiber and has a spanof about two meters. “Gryphon” can reach speeds over 200 km/h and can carry up to 50 kg payload, not counting the weight of the pilot, of course. The height reaches 10 km above ground. There are rudders which allow you to maneuver in the air.

The inventors claim that in the near future the strongest armies in the world will be armed with these gliders. German engineers imagine the future battlefield as follows: Soldiers get out from an aircraft (oxygen bottles are included in the box “Gryphon”). Powerful jet engine swiftly take the team to the scene, allowing them to land three times faster:15 min instead of 45. When approaching the land, a parachute opens, ensuring a soft landing. Meanwhile the wing is separated from the knapsack but remains bound to them by a durable cable.

So far, the only test pilot of the new glider is the German Erich Yelitko, a former paratrooper of the Bundeswehr. During demonstration flights in Paris he showed real aerobatics – for example, zipped between the Eiffel Tower pillars to demonstrate agility of “Gryphon”. In total, he has made over 50 jumps with this unusual aircraft.

Representatives of SPELCO are sure that their creation is useful not only for military purposes but also, let’s say, for rescuers who have to work in otherwise inaccessible areas. In the future, “Gryphon” and similar devices have potential for commercial market.

BACKPACK HELICOPTER

This unit is not as popular as its main competitors. This is probably because no comics or films superhero wore a propeller- except Karlsson-on-the-roof. But even though Karlsson is a handsome, thoroughly clever, perfectly plump man in his prime, very few want to copy him.

The device is a personal vehicle, consisting of a helicopter rotor, and motor mount.
At the moment the vehicle is under test trials, but, nevertheless, there are several prototypes of the pack.

Helicopter-fuel engines are used, which in the long run can be replaced by electricity (that depends on how quickly the technology will be developed and how soon it will reduce the size and weight of the batteries without reducing their efficiency). Therefore, the invention is waiting for its hour to come.

However, it is clear that this backpack can be highly competetive- compared with jetpacks, “helicopters” have a longer duration of flight and load capacity and reduced fuel consumption.
The device was featured in the TV show “Mythbusters”, where the hosts bought a kit of parts in an attempt to make similar one, but were not able to take it off the ground. In the late 1990s backpack helicopter “EULA” was presented at the military exhibition in Omsk. It weighed 25 kg, and made it possible to fly for 20 minutes at a speed of 150 km / h. However, since 2000 all the information on the project has been classified.

FLOATING BOARD

2015 has already passed, and Marty McFly, who, according to the plot of the film “Back to the Future 2”, had to move with the help of hoverboard would not have found it. Actually, the hoverboard just like in the film about the young time traveler does exist but it won’t be able to bear a person’s weight. A hoverboard levitates due to the electromagnetic system and lasers.

The Japanese company Lexus made its own version of hoverboard. The device, which is officially called the Lexus Hoverboard, was tested by a professional skateboarder Ross MakGuran. He told MarketWatch, that, despite his 20 years of experience, while skating on the board, which is not the force of friction, he needed a completely different skills to keep his balance.

The device has been developed within the project SLIDE using magnets and superconductors, cooled with liquid nitrogen.
The publication stresses that hoverboard can only be used in a special area. The cost of the landfill was not disclosed, but experts believe that it is quite significant. The device needs liquid nitrogen every ten minutes.

As reported on the website of the project, the hoverboard contains blocks of superconductors, which are cooled by liquid nitrogen to a temperature of-197 °C. The weight of a device with magnets and liquid nitrogen is 11.5 kg. per one filling it needs 30 ml of nitrogen. The device is enclosed in an ultra bamboo casing.

MARTIN JETPACK

This is perhaps the most ambitious and sensational project. Glenn Martin, the inventor, insisted that in 2016 his creation will enter mass market. Delivery to customers is scheduled for the Ist quarter of 2017. Probably, it is necessary to order a couple to get around for EXPO-2017 in Astana?

Unlike other devices, Martin Jetpack is the first ready-for-practical- use jetpack. The development took 27 years. Two-stroke internal combustion engine of the aircraft is operated on petrol. According to the calculations, Martin Jetpack can reach speeds of 100 km / h, rise 2.5 km high and stay in the air for about an hour on a full tank. Gasoline consumption is 45 liters.

The developer is New Zealand private company Martin Aircraft. It was presented to the public on July, 29, 2008 at the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, the event, organized by the Association of Experimental Aviation in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. According to FAA classification, the device is classified as Ultralight and does not require a pilot’s license to carry out flights.

Personal Jetpack can be used as a personal vehicle and as a drone. The device is constructed of carbon fiber and aluminum. A ballistic parachute is provided in the event of an accident. Its price is150 000 USD, not including the cost of transportation, taxes and other costs.It should be noted though that jetpack will be able to go for mass production only when all necessary procedures regarding the safety and pilot training program are developed and approved. According to Peter Coker, the president of the company, the jetpack is designed not only for the wealthy thrill seekers but also for emergency workers. For example, firefighters can use it to be able to acsess remote areas, and doctors- to evacuate patients in the shortest possible time.

The company has already received hundreds of applications from private companies, government agencies and millionaires. 80 per cent of applications are from the United States.

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