Zapata Racing Flyboard Air "concept" analysis - Defender Source
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Old April 20th, 2016, 10:30 AM
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Zapata Racing Flyboard Air "concept" analysis

The best small turbines available are Jetcat's P200-RX, which has a maximum thrust of 52 lbs/engine at full thrust. Four engines would be 208lbs thrust. Kingtech makes engines, but their largest only makes 46.3 lbs max thrust.

At full thrust, the P200-RX uses 0.8 gallons/minute for four engines.

This means that 5 minutes of flight would require 4 gallons of Kerosene, which weighs 6.82 lbs/gallon, or 27.28 lbs, which decreases linearly to zero over the full time of flight.

Assuming a weight of 5.55 lbs/engine, or a weight of 22.2 lbs for just the engines alone, this means that the minimum full-up weight of the fuel and engines is 30 lbs. However, ancillaries must weigh at the least 10 lbs. So let's say 40 lbs total. A helmet weighs at the least 1kg, so let's say 42.2 lbs.

So this means that the breakeven point for the flyboard air concept is a pilot with a weight of 165.2 lbs. 10 lbs of thrust limits pilot to 155.2, 20 lbs of thrust limits pilot to 145.2 lbs.

So in theory, hovering at 0 feet altitude is possible with a very thin / light man and an extremely light chassis.

Based on the videos, I think there's something fishy going on with the physics. For this to be possible, the jets must be significantly more powerful than JetCat P200-RX's (if so, what engines?) or the pilot must be a very small man. My guess max weight on pilot assuming more realistic parameters (20 lbs thrust and 30 lb chassis) is 125.2 lbs. Unless the pilot is around 5'2" in height, that seems unlikely.
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  #2  
Old April 20th, 2016, 10:50 AM
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Looks like AMT makes a "Nike" engine with a systems airborne weight of 25 lbs / engine.

Using the same calculations, a sled of 100 lbs engine, 30 lbs chassis, 2.2 lb helmet

Max thrust is 176 lb-f / engine, at which it uses 65.5 oz/min/engine (2.05 gallons for all four engines/min) at max thrust.

Raising the pilot weight to 180 lbs, for a total lifting weight of 310lbs, and a vertical thrust of 20lbs (330 lbs), the engines must each release 82.5 lbs thrust. Assuming a linear fuel to thrust relationship, the engines are at 46% thrust, or using 0.93 gallons per minute. So the pilot would need to carry 5 gallons of kerosene, or 34.1 lbs of kerosene. The engines would compensate for this.

So it looks like with much larger engines (I doubt the engines in the video are AMT Nike's due to dimensions?) the physics seem much more realistic.

The question, then, is what engines are being used by Zapata Racing?
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Old April 20th, 2016, 10:52 AM
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Gotta love the jumping right into the numbers without an intro. Reminds me of my engineering friends.
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Old April 20th, 2016, 10:59 AM
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Regardless ,the thing would be very cool
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Old April 20th, 2016, 11:09 AM
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Yeah, sorry - this stuff is burning up the internet right now. Yes, I am an engineer. Big news since Glenn Martin has been trying to do this for 30 years and has thrown countless dollars towards it. Finally some young guys with money and brains are claiming to have done it. Questions are being asked regarding whether or not the videos are real.

Most of us have been saying that complex flight control systems are not necessary to control lightweight sleds, as the human brain can handle stabilization. Zapata Racing (known for their tethered water jetpacks) proved that the cheapest stabilization method is the human body. This video, if not fake, shows that the same can be applied to controlling a jet sled. If real, then truly astounding. If fake, then probably not far from reality.

Yes, the jet-powered hoverboard is real, and yes, the creator has crashed it | The Verge

Watch this real flying hoverboard travel 34 mph

Flyboard Air prototype released by Zapata Racing is hoverboard 'that can reach 10,000ft' | Metro News





I'm not sure what Ed Zachery is. Probably some strange off-color racist insult. Thanks.
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Old April 20th, 2016, 11:38 AM
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Looks like Jetpack Aviation JB9 did something similar last year, although with a unit similar to the Martin Rocket Belt:





looks like this uses two very large engines.
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Old April 20th, 2016, 11:44 AM
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Bell Aerospace did this in the early 60s. Except it was a pack not a board.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell_Rocket_Belt
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Old April 20th, 2016, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evilfij View Post
Bell Aerospace did this in the early 60s. Except it was a pack not a board.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell_Rocket_Belt
Yeah, Bell's peroxide engines had amazing thrust to weight. If it wasn't for the availability of the fuel, that would be ideal for sure!

I know a lot of folks have been dreaming of having the equivalent of a Bell Rocket Belt that runs on Kerosene, but it's not until now (50 years later) that people are posting videos of doing it.

Amazing stuff!
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Old April 20th, 2016, 12:33 PM
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I get that the board looks cool and eliminates the issue with heat burning the rider, but I have to think that a pack is a much more stable way to do this.
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