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Yiarn Caardee Designs Systems Blog Tools Rate This Blog
Creation Date: January 29th, 2015 11:52 AM
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In Moot Member Blogs Personal flight equipment Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #1 New January 31st, 2015 09:56 AM
Welcome to the Yiarn Caardee blog. Today's question is from Rob, he asks:
Are there other flight packs? Grav belts are the gold standard but you might not always have a TL 13 world handy. A rocket pack or even back pack helicopter would be fun.
Yes Rob, there are. There are several options depending upon your budget, access to manufacturing capabilities, and desire for fun and excitement.

All of these vehicles assume some atmosphere, thin or denser for flight to take place.

All of these are open frame vehicles, meaning the pilot (and perhaps passenger) are exposed to the elements. If the world you are visiting requires breathing aids, you will need to supply them.

Hang Glider- A TL 4 design, usually first built prior to powered flight craft. The pilot hangs underneath the large wing. Usually launched from the top of steep hill or cliff to achieve some height to glide from. While the design is TL-4, you can build it using found materials at TL-0. The glider usually flies at 30kph, and distance depends upon starting height, piloting capabilities, and environmental conditions.

Weight is 30kg, plus 90kg for a pilot. Cost is Cr565.

CAR Flight pack - An experimental TL 6 design. CAR is a Coaxial Rotor system, where there are two sets of rotors (one above another) providing lift, but rotating in opposite directions to cancel torque. This is a large (37kg) backpack consisting of a small, but powerful, gas engine, a 20 minute fuel supply, and the CAR rotors mounted about .7m above the head of the pilot. Top speed is 240kph, with a ceiling around 2000m.

This is a build of a Backpack Helicopter.

Weight is 37kg, plus 90kg of a pilot, cost is Cr6,200.

As an editorial aside, we've never seen actual builds of this system beyond design and marketing prototypes. The usual reasons cited are the exposed rotor blades being a hazard for others. From personal experience the rotor down wash is not entirely pleasant and difficult to alleviate.

Personal Flyer - The best known alternative to the grav belt. The flyer has an external seat, with a small turbine engine mounted to the back of the seat. The turbine powers two ducted fans mounted at shoulder height.

Arm rests contain the fly-by-wire controls for the craft. There is a small computer with HUD for control and a short range communicator with protocols to integrate into the data networks and flight control system of most worlds.

The craft has a 2.5 hour fuel supply, with a top speed of 100kph. In addition to the pilot, the craft can carry up to 20kg of cargo.

The personal filer is a commercialized version of the SoloTrek XFV prototype.

We've have versions of this craft using jet engines or rocket engines. Government flight safety officials cite the danger of the exhaust as primary reason for refusing to license them. There may be some versions built for specialized applications, but none commercially available.

Microweight Glider -An update to the Hang glider shown above. This is a medium weight backpack harness with an advanced folding wing system. The pack weights 22kg when folded, and spreads to a 5m wingspan. The pack also contains a small grav thruster unit, not large enough to lift the whole system, but enough to give a boost to the glider. The thruster is capable of driving the wings and pilot at up to 100kph. A rechargeable power cell capable of driving the thruster for an hour continuously completes the package.

Weight is 22kg, plus 90kg of pilot. Cost is Cr58,000.

Next time we'll describe a few of the Vacuum capable and microgravity environment flight systems.
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