Feeds

Personal jetpacks and solar-powered ships

Kiwis demonstrate how to save and waste fuel

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

In a weekend of contradictions, New Zealanders have demonstrated technologies showing off the best and worst in fuel efficiency: a petrol powered personal jetpack joined the mile-high club, while a solar-powered ship made an unassisted trip from Monaco to Brisbane.

A crash test dummy has returned unharmed after riding a Martin Aircraft Company personal jetpack to a claimed 5,000 feet. At the end of the test flight for the New Zealand-built Jetsons device, a parachute brought the dummy back to the ground without damage.

Martin Aircraft, basking in the turnaround from ridicule and skepticism to more favourable coverage, now says it is seeking investors for further development of the device towards commercialization, which the company optimistically hopes could be within 18 months.

With more than NZ$12 million already spent bringing the device to last weekend’s unmanned flight, as much as NZ$8 million more is needed to bring it to market. It claims an ascent rate of 1,000 feet per minute and carrying capacity of around 120kg.

In case the idea of a petrol-powered personal jetpack with just half-an-hour’s flight time looks like an extravagant way to burn both oil and money (Martin expects the commercial units to cost around NZ$100,000), the company cites search-and-rescue, supply, and border observation applications for the unit.

The New Zealand Herald has an edited video of the ten-minute flight here.

Meanwhile, a Kiwi-designed solar-powered boat, Turanor Planetsolar, made landfall in Queensland eight months after setting out from Monaco. The boat is seeking to complete an east-to-west navigation without calling on any fuel source other than the sun.

Its 500 square metres-plus solar modules supply an engine consuming 20 kW on average. While the boat needs to take it easy in overcast weather, it claims a range of 200 km per day in favourable charging conditions.

Constructed by the Knierim Yacht Club in German city Kiel, the 31-metre vessel is following what’s called the “English conditions” for a circumnavigation, which include two crossings of the equator, and matching its southerly trip to the northern latitude of the starting point.

So far, the Turanor Planetsolar claims to have made the fastest Atlantic crossing by a solar-powered vessel, and the longest trip made under solar power alone.

From Australia, its itinerary includes two China stopovers, Singapore, India, the Emirates, returning to Monaco via the Suez Canal. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Drunkards warned: If you can't walk in a straight line, don't shop online, you fool!
Put it away boys. Cover them up ladies. Your credit cards, we mean
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
Cops baffled by riddle of CHICKEN who crossed ROAD
'Officers were unable to determine Chicken's intent'
Why your mum was WRONG about whiffy tattooed people
They're a future source of RENEWABLE ENERGY
Murder accused DIDN'T ask Siri 'how to hide my roommate'
US court hears of cached browser image - not actual request
Chomp that sausage: Brits just LOVE scoffing a Full Monty
Sales of traditional brekkie foods soar as hungry folk get their mitts greasy
Nuts to your poncey hipster coffees, I want a TESLA ELECTRO-CAFE
Examining the frothy disconnect in indie cafe culture
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?