NASA Develops 1-Person 'Flying Suit'

If Puffin aircraft works, welcome to the jetpack era

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 23, 2010 5:19 AM CST

(Newser) – It exists only on paper at the moment, but NASA's Puffin aircraft just might bring the jetpack age into reality. Engineers "have combined every one of our geeky transportation dreams into a single little vehicle," writes Jason Paur. "It takes off like a helicopter and flies like a plane. It can cruise at 140 mph and, with a boost mode, hit about twice that. Oh—and it’s electric," he writes for Wired.

NASA, which unveiled the concept this week, plans to have a demonstrator model working by March. It's like a "flying suit or a jetpack with a cockpit," notes Charles Q. Choi of Scientific American. Figure about 50 miles per charge and the ability to climb 30,000 feet. "It’s safe to say that if this bird flies—and that’s a very big if—we’ll no longer be dreaming of having our own jetpack," writes Paur.

NASA's Puffin could up in the air for real in March, or at least a working model of it.
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A video of the Puffin's conceptual design.   (YouTube)

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