The Bell rocket belt captured the world's imagination when it was featured in the 1965 James Bond movie Thunderball
. Now, the folks at Jet Machines Extreme (JME) are designing a modern version not powered by rockets, but by a set of four miniature turbojets. The new Jet Vest is expected to offer free flying times nearly four minutes in duration. Having run short of development money, JME is exploring another modern innovation by reaching out to crowd-funding site Kickstarter for a boost.
The Honda Aircraft Company has announced that its HA-420 HondaJet business jet is entering production. At a press conference at the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) annual meeting and convention in Orlando, Florida, Honda announced that the “world’s most advanced light jet” had passed key testing milestones
and is on its way to certification and delivery.
Reaction Engines has announced that is has successfully tested the key pre-cooler component of its revolutionary SABRE engine crucial to the development of its SKYLON spaceplane
. The company claims that craft equipped with SABRE engines will be able to fly to any destination on Earth in under 4 hours, or travel directly into space.
Seth Kettleman is no stranger to high-powered vehicles. The surplus aircraft parts dealer provided the Boeing engine and technical support for the building of a jet-powered Batmobile replica
, and more recently attempted to sell his own similarly-outfitted Datsun 280ZX
on eBay. Now, you have the chance to buy another one of his monstrosities – a custom-built jet-powered go-kart.
Datsun's 280ZX was a pretty awesome car in its own right. Seth Kettleman, however, decided to take a classic 1983 model, and augment it in a rather unique way – he replaced its original six-cylinder power plant with an ex-US Air Force Garrett GTP turboshaft engine. The end result looks pretty sharp, but it really has to be heard
to believed ... and, if you like what you hear, you can buy the car now for US$16,000.
Last October, we told you about the full-scale working Batmobile replica built by movie prop-maker Bob Dullam
. The version of the iconic superhero vehicle that Dullam chose to recreate was the rugged, Hummer-esque beauty from Batman Begins
and The Dark Knight
, known as the Tumbler. Well, that car now has some company on the road, in the form of a street-legal copy of the smoother, slinkier Batmobile that first appeared in 1989’s Batman
. Built by Ohio auto restorer and designer Casey Putsch in just five months out of race car and military surplus parts, the vehicle is incredibly faithful to the original ... to the point that it’s powered by an actual jet engine.
Following last April’s historic eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland, commercial flights were cancelled within most of Europe for several days – it was the largest disruption of air travel since the Second World War. Well, while no one is suggesting that airliners could now merrily fly right through clouds of ash, researchers from Ohio State University (OSU) have
developed a coating that they say could allow jet engines to better withstand small amounts of volcanic ash that are ingested over time.
Gliders that have engines which can be used for take-off to remove the need for catching a tow to altitude by an airplane or a winch are quite common now. Such engines are usually of the electric or small-piston motor variety, but New Mexico-based company, Desert Aerospace, has gone a step further by fitting a glider with a retractable jet engine.
Russia has reportedly successfully test-flown its first fifth generation fighter jet prototype. Formally known as the Prospective Aircraft Complex of Frontline Aviation (PAK-FA), the craft made its 47 minute maiden voyage on 29th January. Manufactured by the Russian state owned Sukhoi Aircraft Corporation, the development of this tactical frontline stealth fighter jet is being seen as a significant milestone in the efforts of the country to modernize its post Soviet–era military technology.