Jetson ONE is an ultralight and extremely fun to fly recreational all-electric personal vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft.
Test pilot: Tomasz Patan - Founder & CTO at Jetson
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While many of the big players in the eVTOL market are plotting to transform mass transportation, with flying taxis, sleek vertiports and integrated transit hubs, Jetson has simpler goals. “We just want to have fun,” says Peter Ternström, president and founder of the Swedish company, which last week introduced Jetson One, a “personal electric aerial vehicle.”
“We’re happy to let the big guys solve the big problems,” says Ternström. “We can teach you to fly our aircraft in five minutes. It’s like a jet ski or a scooter that flies.”
The single-seater’s simplicity and size mean that US-based buyers won’t need a pilot’s license and the craft doesn’t require any special certification. Flyers have to follow the rules for ultralight craft—no flying at night or in densely populated areas or near airports, etc.—but otherwise the One is ready for take off immediately.
Jetson plans to build 12 in 2022 and those have already been sold, and the company is now taking orders for 2023, when it expects production to at least double. The small supply and growing demand allow the company to be picky about future owners.
“Like it or not, the first group of owners are going to be ambassadors for the product,” says Ternström. “So, we’re looking for established members of a community, preferably with a pilot’s license.”
What the chosen will get is a bill for $92,000 and a kit that requires some not very taxing assembly to become a roughly 190-pound machine with eight rotors and fly-by-wire aeronautics. It has a maximum capacity of 210 pounds, but it can fly even if one motor fails. Other safety features include an aluminum frame with crumble zones, a ballistic parachute and obstacle avoidance lidar.
Once airborne, the One has a top speed of 63 mph with a range of roughly 20 minutes—or 20 miles. It can ascend at 25 feet per second, but Ternström assumes most of the flight time will occur between 15 and 30 feet off the ground.
“Remember the scene in Return of the Jedi when they’re zipping through the forest on those hovercraft?” he says, “That’s what the One can replicate. People are going to want that landspeeder experience.”