A group of young German inventors are poised to carry flight tests of the world’s first winged jetpack that can take off from the ground. Fritz Unger and his friends from Hanover in Germany have spent over five years creating their one-man jet propelled wing.
To keep the costs down the team built the original Skyflash out of aviation plywood, although future versions will be made with carbon fibre composite materials, once finished the backpack mounted aircraft will be the smallest twin-engined aeroplane ever built reaching speeds of more than 200mph, with a flight ceiling of 26,000ft, easily steered by the movement of the pilot’s body.
The wings on the Skyflash are composed of three units that separate for more surface area to provide lift on take off then contract in flight for greater speed and stability. Technology is already being used on a much larger scale in modern jet airliners. Skyflash is powered by dual microturbine diesel jet engines built into the WingBody backpack section, which also holds the flight computer and control electronics.
Before take-off the pilot puts on the WingBody like a backpack and fastens it to himself, across the front sits the landing gear, which has four 10in off-road tires the Skyflash team claim is ‘able to cope with potholed grass runways’.
In February of this year, Project Skyflash took all four wheels into the air for the first time. The pilot´s camera and the brand new underwing camera give a great impression of the speed and the movements of the pilot.