Feeds

Personal jetpacks and solar-powered ships

Kiwis demonstrate how to save and waste fuel

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Facebook's Zuckerberg in EBOLA VIRUS FIGHT: Billionaire battles bug
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention contacted as site supremo coughs up
Space exploration is just so lame. NEW APPS are mankind's future
We feel obliged to point out the headline statement is total, utter cobblers
Win a year’s supply of chocolate (no tech knowledge required)
Over £200 worth of the good stuff up for grabs
Down-under record: Australian gets $140k for pussy
'Tiffany' closes deal - 'it's more common to offer your wife', says agent
Internet finally ready to replace answering machine cassette tape
It's a simple message and I'm leaving out the whistles and bells
Swiss wildlife park serves up furry residents to visitors
'It's ecological' says spokesman, now how would you like your Bambi done?
The iPAD launch BEFORE it happened: SPECULATIVE GUFF ahead of actual event
Nerve-shattering run-up to the pre-planned known event
STONER SHEEP get the MUNCHIES after feasting on £4k worth of cannabis plants
Baaaaaa! Fanny's Farm's woolly flock is high, maaaaaan
FedEx helps deliver THOUSANDS of spam messages DIRECT to its Blighty customers
Don't worry Wilson, I'll do all the paddling. You just hang on
Red Bull does NOT give you wings, $13.5m lawsuit says so
Website letting consumers claim $10 cash back crashes after stampede
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
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?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.