Swedish startup Jetson Aero’s tiny electric aircraft, the Jetson One, is sort of like George Jetson’s “car”—except there’s only space for one person, there’s not a closed cabin, and you can’t press a button to be dropped out the bottom.
You can, however, press a button to activate a ballistic parachute, but Jetson Aero is really hoping none of its customers will ever have to use this feature.
The parachute is a last-resort option, built into the Jetson One along with several other redundancies for passenger safety. The vehicle runs on battery power, with eight electric motors, and is like a helicopter in that it takes off and lands vertically (though the fact that it has eight propellers makes it a “multicopter”). The fastest it goes is 63 miles per hour (102 kilometers per hour), so about the same as highway driving in or near an urban area.
At 9.3 feet long by 8 feet tall by 3.4 feet wide, the Jetson One is quite small, at least as far as aircraft go, and weighs 198 pounds (90 kilograms). It can carry a passenger that weighs up to 210 pounds, though the lighter you are, the longer you can fly for; a pilot weighing 187 pounds can fly for 20 minutes before the vehicle’s batteries need recharging. In the US the aircraft is classified as “ultralight,” meaning you don’t need a pilot’s license to fly it.
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