Aviation fanatic turns drone into jetpack

Written by Staff Writer, CNN The revolutionary Zero-G jet-pack was unleashed into the sky by Italian aviation pioneers in February 1932. Fifty years on, it could be taking to the skies once again –…

Aviation fanatic turns drone into jetpack

Written by Staff Writer, CNN

The revolutionary Zero-G jet-pack was unleashed into the sky by Italian aviation pioneers in February 1932. Fifty years on, it could be taking to the skies once again — this time with the tech to make it sustainable.

Air Seeker Architecture, the small aerospace startup headed by Romanian-born multimillionaire Gabrieliu Radu, has designed a lightweight passenger aircraft that can fly for more than 20 minutes at Mach 2.7 with any sort of load — for the price of an economy-class ticket.

The Zero-G Jetpack can fly at speeds up to 320 miles per hour. Credit: Daniel Kubasik/Air Seeker Architecture

The company’s aviation was announced by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in December at a Redmond, Washington, location.

The prototype costs about $300,000 (around $429,000 at today’s exchange rate), but a more streamlined passenger jet would need to carry a passenger cost about $1.5 million (5.7 million euros), estimates Air Seeker Architecture.

It could also transform the professional flying world, according to the Croatian firm. A flight would allow a pilot to spend less time in the air while still making business calls, said Vlahko Paci, founder of Air Seeker Architecture.

The company’s prototype could carry a single passenger, but a 20-minute flight would only cost $1.5 million. Credit: Daniel Kubasik/Air Seeker Architecture

But does a jetpack make economic sense in the modern aviation market?

If prices were brought down, the true cost would be $1.5 million, he said. That’s because “even with a regular commercial jet, you have to build an airport.”

He is now seeking ways to overcome aircraft regulations to allow the jetpack to take to the skies.

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