Uh, a Personal Jetpack? Yes Please.
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It’s taken 3 years of testing, but Troy Hartman, professional aerial stuntman with a colorful history of insane, gut-wrenching stunts, has finally done it.
His original goal was to build a proprietary jet-engine powered wing (à la Yves Rossy). In the process of designing the wing, two concerns materialized right out of the gate; 1) operating the jet engine close to his body and 2) operating the jet engine at high-altitude. Yep, I’d say those are both pretty important.
The jet-engine powered wing turned into a much more involved project. Troy realized that if he was going to put this much effort into testing and prototyping, he might as well–in his words–trick it out. The final result, after weeks of tinkering in his garage (and a number of failed tests in the empty fields of Southern California), was a fairly compact jet backpack of Troy’s own design.
Phase 1 testing was done on skis. In a YouTube video that’s reached more than half a million eyeballs, Troy demonstrated fast uphill ascents and reached a top speed of 47 mph.
Phase 2 testing, I’m happy to report, was a raging success. Filmmaker Brent Barbano and his crew captures it beautifully below.
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And when I flip that switch to fire the jet pack, just the sound and power send this pulse of adrenaline through my veins. And it’s electrifying.
Troy Hartman, Professional Aerial Stuntman
With a degree in Aeronautical Engineering and a background in the U.S. Air Force, Troy Hartman is no stranger to the aerial world. He’s a professional aerial stuntman, BASE jumper and inventor.
Troy pioneered skysurfing. The story goes — he snuck a board onto a skydiving plane and jumped out before anyone could stop him. The sport flourished, as did Troy; he went on to become an X Games Gold Medalist. His commercial was the #1 ranked advertisement of Super Bowl 1998.
For a time, Troy was a television host on the MTV series “Senseless Acts of Video.” After 3 seasons of 40+ gut-wrenching stunts, many of which has never been done before, Troy stepped out of the spotlight to focus on smaller projects of his own.
Oof. A Personal Jetpack!
Troy’s personal jetpack utilizes engines that are designed for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) applications. What that means is..they’re massive. Twice the thrust of those used by Yves Rossy.
The engines run at 100,000 RPM and 1500 degrees Fahrenheit, mere inches from his skin.
Both Troy and Brent, the filmmaker, are currently collaborating to produce more content, in addition to documenting the continuing development of the jetpack and jet-engine powered wing.
Stay tuned, folks.
You can find out more information about Troy on his personal website.
[pics courtesy of Brent Barbano & film crew]