Personal Rocket? Just yesterday we talked about the possibility of trying out a personal Jetpack offered by a tour operator, and today we will bring you the latest news from the world of personal flight, right out of NASA. In fact, the space agency has just presented its prototype which can make a man feel like a bird, although, strangely enough, it borrows its name from a bird that is famous for its strange shape rather than for its flying skills: its name, in fact, is Puffin.
How a personal rocket is a VTOL?
Puffin is the prototype of a vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft, with a tail that ends in what looks like four short legs, which are used for landing. Once it takes off like a helicopter, this personal rocket aircraft flies in horizontal position, with the pilot lying face down in the direction of flight.
Puffin has a length of approximately 3.70 meters and a 4.40 meter wingspan, for an empty weight of 140 kilos, plus 45 Kgs of batteries and, of course, the pilot’s weight. It is powered by an electric engine which supplies a maximum power of 60 HP, enough to fly it at a max speed of approximately 240 kilometers per hour, with a maximum range of around 80 kilometers at cruise speed.
The name comes not only from its not-so-sexy shape and from its canopy which resembles the bird’s beak, but most of all because the puffin is considered to be an environment-friendly bird thanks to its extreme cleanliness, just like this prototype which, thanks to its electric engine, does not pollute the air around it and helps fulfilling the age-old dream of flying.