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Marc Newson's “Body Jet” re-imagines the jetpack

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January 29, 2013

The Body Jet was designed for a French aerospace company (Photo: Marc Newson)

The Body Jet was designed for a French aerospace company (Photo: Marc Newson)

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The jetpack is arguably the most game-changing method of transport one could envision using technology available today. However, despite some progress, a jetpack-powered commute still seems a very long way in the future. Not to be daunted by this, Australian designer Marc Newson has turned his hand to producing a compelling jetpack design concept, dubbed the “Body Jet.”

The Body Jet boasts the designer's usual flair for beautiful simplistic style and harks back to a time when many felt jetpack travel and flying cars to be just around the corner. Indeed, rather than a toy for the rich, the Body Jet concept appears to be more comparable to Ford's iconic Model T, and could be imagined as the vehicle which finally brings jetpack travel to the masses.

Close-up of the Body Jet's dual-joystick controls (Photo: Marc Newson)

Newson's design features a carbon fiber yellow and black body, with a single large engine providing thrust. A dual-joystick setup is employed for controlling the jetpack, and the Body Jet would reportedly contain enough fuel for approximately 45 - 60 minutes of air time.

The Body Jet was commissioned by a French aerospace company and remains a concept at present – fingers crossed we'll soon see such a device brought to market.

Source: Marc Newson via CoDesign

About the Author
Adam Williams Adam scours the globe from his home in North Wales in order to bring the best of innovative architecture and sustainable design to the pages of Gizmag. Most of his spare time is spent dabbling in music, tinkering with old Macintosh computers and trying to keep his even older VW bus on the road.

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16 Comments

What would make this more useful and interesting is the stand piece used to hold the pack up so you can get into and out of it easily. If instead of a static stand, you had an extendable one with retracting/telescoping pole segments. Thus when you get in the stand is active, once air born you flip a switch and the poles retract into the pack. and when landing, click a button, and they extend to aid in landing at a stance. Additionally they could be spring loaded somewhat to provide a little flexibility.

yinfu99
29th January, 2013 @ 08:32 am PST

More of an art story than science I'd say. I have often wondered whether or not a jet pack that was meant for assisted jumping rather than sustained flying would be practical to a degree that full flight jet packs are not.

Snake Oil Baron
29th January, 2013 @ 09:14 am PST

I think the retractable stand idea is a good one (even if it is just to raise it higher and shows on the outside).

It would be neat to see it in a movie like a similar one used in the Cody Banks movie.

I think it would be cool if it was powered by a tiny turbo prop engine.

BigGoofyGuy
29th January, 2013 @ 09:54 am PST

For this idea to become a total winner, it needs to:

1. Forget stands, it should fly directly to the user's back and position itself for fitting.

2. No complex two-joystick controls. To be massively adopted, it has to be completely autonomous. Set waypoint and forget. It should avoid obstacles. Google already does this in its cars.

3. Low noise.

Mariano Dupont
29th January, 2013 @ 12:14 pm PST

The current fuel capacity suggests this may only be useful for low altitude short commutes, but I see a possibly better application for this.

Could this be re-engineered as an alternative to traditional aircraft ejector seats or, with the necessary structural considerations built into the fuselage, integrated into passenger seating on larger airliners (i.e. Escape pods)?

ChillZilla
29th January, 2013 @ 08:11 pm PST

Those jets drink one liter per minute (that's about 3.5 minutes per gallon), are rip-year-ears-off loud, and you don't want anything spinning at 70,000rpm in line with parts of your body...

christopher
30th January, 2013 @ 08:30 am PST

would it be quieter and more controllable as a quad copter design? maybe better mileage to boot?

Kwazai
30th January, 2013 @ 10:01 am PST

nice shot of reality christopher. and why is the intake pulling you downward, i think this is a children's toy.

frogola
30th January, 2013 @ 12:23 pm PST

This is basically just someone doodling with a 3D CAD program right? The intake would suck your pants off and probably extract the contents of your rectum.

Actually rectal content expulsion would occur naturally as you tried to control it.

nutcase
30th January, 2013 @ 02:09 pm PST

Why doesn't someone make a lighter weight and updated version of the Williams Aerial Systems Platform? That one had a useful range and payload capacity. Modern composite materials would improve it.

Gregg Eshelman
30th January, 2013 @ 02:28 pm PST

Fine 'till you run out of fuel at 1000 feet. Better have a 'chute as well.

JAT
31st January, 2013 @ 08:18 am PST

What's all the fuss about? There's already a device like this, the Martin Jet Pack made in New Zealand:

Weight 254 lbs (115 kg) excluding safety equipment

Pilot Weight Up to 280 lbs (127kg)

Speed Cruising speed of up to 63 mph (100kph)

Fuel Capacity 5 US gallons (18.9 litres)

Fuel burn 10 US gallons (38 litres)/hr

Flight Time & Range At the target fuel consumption, the flight time will be 30 mins and the range up to 30 miles (50 km)

Engine Martin Aircraft 2.0 L V4 2 stroke, rated at 200 hp (150 kw). Max 6000 rpm.

Electrical system 12 V DC Battery, starter, 360 w alternator.

Hover in ground effect 8000 ft (estimated)

Hover above ground effect 8000 ft (estimated)

Standard Equipment Flight and Engine displays

Harness

Ballistic Parachute

Energy absorbing undercarriage.

warren52nz
31st January, 2013 @ 02:42 pm PST

My GI Joe had something identical to this 40 years ago.

And: Where is the turbojet engine which can generate ~400 pounds of static thrust continuously for an hour, burning less than 50 pounds of fuel per hour, at the worst-possible-turbojet-case altitude of sea-level-to -500 feet, oh, and itself, with all equipment needed to produce such thrust weighs less than I do (200 pounds).

If I could find a jet engine like that I'd get a second mortgage and buy it!

All of mine are < 100 lbs static thrust. :-(

So yes, this thing must be imaginary, or there'd be specs, complete with the important part, the SFC of the engine, and the manufacturer.

sleat
31st January, 2013 @ 06:47 pm PST

Does no one consider doing any research before commenting?

The "Jet Belt" was first developed by Wendall Moore while working for Bell AeroSystems. The following link gives readers the basics of what he developed way back in the '60's. He came up with both the "Jet Belt" and the "Rocket Belt".

The Jet belt was much more practical than the hydrogen peroxide powered one. But after his death, and the military's decision to go with helicopters, the concept and device faded away.

http://books.google.com/books?id=NyoDAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA55&lpg=PA55&dq=bell+aerosystems+jet+belt&source=bl&ots=77J3Rp5q7z&sig=l_lunAyI_5_8Wa6e0C7fuNj8MzU&hl=en&sa=X&ei=0akLUarwPIH89gTwuoG4Bg&ved=0CGQQ6AEwCTgK#v=onepage&q=bell%20aerosystems%20jet%20belt&f=false

Mivoyses
1st February, 2013 @ 03:55 am PST

The problem with this is noise,I can't envision one of these,let alone 4 or five flying through the air,the noise and jet exhaust at low altitude would be a little too much.I think a electric quad rotor,1 or 2 seats , tubular cage around you, motors and props above you, would be perfect for short low altitude trips.A company Jobe is making real nice electric motors.Around 12 horse each,very affordable.maybe six motors,but you could fly on 3.This Quad rotor concept started by Evolo and other's could really take off,its safer,has very few parts,unlike a regular helicopter,which is a parts nightmare,can be fitted with a ballistic chute,could be made pretty quiet,with newer blade technology,noise suppression etc.This might end up as one of the safest ways to fly and the cheapest.I think I'm right on this one,give it 10 years,their will be a few flying,it just makes sense.A farmer could check on his cattle,crops etc with the extra option of being able to hover safely.

Thomas Lewis
1st February, 2013 @ 11:45 am PST

noise? he did say this is like the model t to cars..it's a start.

billybob1851
4th February, 2013 @ 01:12 pm PST
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