Busytown by Jolisa Gracewood

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Busytown: To infinity and beyond

25 Responses

  • Wammo,

    It looks like a fantastic invention, not quite the imagined rocket pack, but definitely a fun toy with probable military applications as well.

    I'm sure Ian Sinclair was excited to be the first journalist to give it a spin, but to spend a significant portion of the news item gloating about all the other major news agencies queuing up to have a go was cringe worthy.

    The on screen "Sunday Journalist" tag under Ian's name was a clue for the inevitable Sunday program promo from Simon after the item.

    The gloating and promo during the news were an unwelcome distraction from the invention.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 42 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    I think "to infinity and beyond" is probably a little premature, he does say no one has been up more than 2 metres yet (probably need a private pilot's license for more)

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2179 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    It is now only a short hop to cities on the moon. Thank god we are finally living in the future: "so long suckers!" Shhwwooooooossshhhhh!!!

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2081 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    ps. Vanessa Martin is totally awesome! There is no way my partner would do that (though that's possibly because of my dodgy mechanical skills).

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2081 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    So he turned to his wife. “I said, ‘Hey, Vanessa, what are you doing tonight?’

    actually... my first thought was, "he must have had her life insured"

    </cynic>

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2026 posts Report Reply

  • Evan Yates,

    He should call it the "Jet PAC" where PAC stands for "Personal Air Craft". That way he could keep the whole Jet Pack vibe while more accurately describing it. (Like everyone refers to a JetSki when in fact they are officially referred to in the industry as "Personal Water Craft")

    As for licensing, I suspect that it will be light enough to qualify as a microlight helicopter under CAA rules. That means that you won't need a full PPL(H) to fly it. (but maybe a microlight pilot's cert will be needed)

    My main worry is that the likely operational envelope for this machine will be a bit on the dangerous side. I'd put money on the fact that this device has no equivalent of a helicopter's auto-rotation mode due to an engine failure.

    Further to that I'd also be interested to know the minimum altitude from which a ballistic parachute could be deployed to make a successful save from a mechanical failure.

    Without auto-rotate, there would be a "death-zone" between the altitudes "high-enough-that-the-fall-will-kill-you" and "high-enough-that-the-chute-will-save-you".

    Good luck, Glenn Martin, but try not to kill anyone (especially yourself) too soon.

    P.S. Would I fly one? You bet your sweet ass I would...
    However, I suspect that I am well over the weight limit.

    Hamiltron, Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Nov 2006 • 190 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    It's basically an airborne lawnmower

    My lawns often get that long as well. I didn't know someone else had come up with an invention to chop them by hovering above them.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6208 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    Technically (i.e. pedantically) speaking, it's not actually a jet pack or a rocket pack (not having jets or rockets in it).

    I'm going to call it a D.A.F.T (Ducted Air Fan Turbine), in the hope that it catches on.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Kiwiiano,

    Quoting Kyle: "It's basically an airborne lawnmower
    My lawns often get that long as well. I didn't know someone else had come up with an invention to chop them by hovering above them."

    The Flymo does a pretty good job. ;^)

    ChCh • Since Nov 2006 • 22 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Can the Airforce buy these? Seriously, how cool would that be? And since they're made in the back of a shed, they can't be that expensive!

    We finally got our jetpacks. And it's only 8 years after 2000. We're almost on schedule!

    Without auto-rotate, there would be a "death-zone" between the altitudes "high-enough-that-the-fall-will-kill-you" and "high-enough-that-the-chute-will-save-you".

    High enough to kill or seriously injure you would probably only be about 2-4 metres, depending on how you fall, from my knowledge or rock-climbing danger zones. With that heavy thing on your back it's probably worse. Safety and liability issues will determine whether this thing ever gets off the ground.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2136 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    I could also be a grump and disdain the amount of energy required, compared to the simple, beautiful and amazingly (99%) efficient bicycle, but for the moment I'll just bathe in the wonder of it all.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2136 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    I could also be a grump and disdain the amount of energy required, compared to the simple, beautiful and amazingly (99%) efficient bicycle

    Oh, that reminds me of my favourite antipodean invention of late:

    Madin's musical bikes

    More here. Lovely! And vastly more pleasing to the ear than the D.A.F.T...

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1411 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    a fun toy with probable military applications as well

    So could a force of elite kommandos wearing these cross the Tasman and invade Bondi?

    seven weeks after the birth of his second child, Mr. Martin figured his prototype was now powerful enough to lift its first flier, so long as that person weighed less than 130 pounds.

    As I read that I was staring to think that he strapped the *baby* to it and flew it around?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4467 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    the simple, beautiful and amazingly (99%) efficient bicycle,

    Yeah, I saw ET too.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4931 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    The Flymo does a pretty good job. ;^)

    Pah. Like a flymo would last 10 seconds on the tangled jungle that is my backyard.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6208 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Oh, that reminds me of my favourite antipodean invention of late:

    Madin's musical bikes

    More here. Lovely!

    Check out this lovely bicycle/bubble blower/instrument of guerrilla gardening. Something to make you smile.

    Yeah, I saw ET too.

    See also this flying bike. Who can forget the Gossamer Albatross?

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2136 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Bicycles might be 99% efficient (at least, if they don't have rear suspension). People are only maybe 15% efficient, so only 15% of the energy in your food is converted to motion. Also, unless you munch raw sugar cane as your sole energy source, your food isn't neccesarily an optimal energy efficient fuel.

    To say nothing of the petroleum products used in making and washing a garish lycra costume for each day of the week. Smugness must have an energy budget, too.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4467 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Oh, I hope I haven't derailed this thread. The energy used is pretty small by all measures, although we haven't yet created the perfectly efficient human. We're working on it.

    I do hate lycra though, unless worn by the dance mega group, the Real Hot Bitches. These people have the right idea about what to wear on a bicycle.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2136 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Gossamer Albatross

    I allways visualised that as a seagull caught in a condom or maybe a bird in Lycra. :-0

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4931 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    these guys have built a vehicle that does over 3500km on a litre of petrol. You couldn't cycle very far on the energy equivalent of that much food.

    Of course, most people eat way more food then they need, so bikes run on waste energy.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4467 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    No worries, George - not so much derailing as going off road. And what's the point of a bike if you can't do that every now and then?

    The bubble bike is brilliant. And I love that Copenhagen blog. Not just for the gals in their cute dresses, I'm at least as interested in what the bikes are wearing. What I wouldn't give for one of those low slung cargo bikes with the front kid seats. Way more sensible than the (increasingly) top-heavy rear seat I'm currently using...

    This is how biking often looks in my town, alas. (If you click on the video, language definitely NSFW). Although we're steadily trying to change it.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1411 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    The bubble machine. I had to start the computer to check I hadn't dreamed it. Seed carrying bubbles, crikey, thats practical. I want one for my old 28 inch wheeled, black bike.

    Just when you start to think that No. 8 wire is an outdated myth, a Christchurch inventor unveils his personal jetpack at the world's biggest air show in OshKosh,Wisconsin.

    The actual No. 8 wire is a thing of the past. The modern equivalent is a different material. Its high tensile steel. Its got to much spring in it for mending top dressing planes, as was previously prescribed by 'kiwi ingenuity', good keen farmers from the hilly back blocks, that played rugby in the snow. I think the mythical historical, is in the romantic nationalist pride complex. I'v __seen__herd of the similar phenomena, 'clever people, with limited resources' culture developing elsewhere, like way out the back blocks, the united states. I think it's called Yankee ingenuity. Or indeed another strain might be found in indonesia. I believe, the Soviets also had the smarts.

    But I do like to think I'm embellished by cleverness by virtue of the fact, I have a shed. But I reckon an entire engineering firm would be more on the money

    I still feel cynical about the lawnmower/spacecraft contraption. I's looks, from its not really a proper prevue film, like a power tool that being operated inappropriately. I do however rather like this thing.

    Well there my grizzled opinion, from the back of a shed. Now I'm of to the Wellington library, where I know it's warm and dry.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2752 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Jolisa, if you like the Copenhagen blog, you might be interested in their more practical (although definitely retaining the same ethos) sister site Copenhagenize for ideas and inspiration.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2136 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    Herald today is reporting that the parachute can deploy from as low as thirty meters - say, ten stories up. So assuming that you could survive a two-metre fall without injury (with 100kg of petrol engine and propellors on your back), that's a 28-metre risk zone.

    I prescribe quick takeoffs and landings, and extremely bloody conscientious maintenance when you're on the ground.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1566 posts Report Reply

  • Evan Yates,

    Technically (i.e. pedantically) speaking, it's not actually a jet pack or a rocket pack (not having jets or rockets in it)

    Even more pedantically speaking, it is actually "Jet" propelled. The fact that the jet of air that lifts it is produced by ducted fans driven from a reciprocating internal combustion engine is beside the point. However, I do admit that in modern parlance "Jet" and "Gas Turbine" have become synonymous...

    Hamiltron, Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Nov 2006 • 190 posts Report Reply

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