Zapata’s JetRacer flying car will be piloted by 25 volunteer test flight pilots

Want to put a new generation single-seat, fast and highly maneuverable aircraft through its paces as a George Jetson-style pioneer test pilot? Well, pass by, because Zapata will be giving away 25 lucky ones the chance to pilot his JetRacer flying car in the US trials he has planned.

The JetRacer flying car was unveiled this month by former jet ski world champion Franky Zapata, whose most recent fame involved the 2019 Channel on his Hoverboard contraption. The Frenchman’s namesake company has produced a range of other micro-reactor aerial vehicles that operate over water or land surfaces, including the recently revealed JetRacer.

As part of this introduction, the Zapata company invites all interested parties to participate in a raffle that will select 100 finalists wishing to pilot its JetRacer flying car in a test series in the United States. Only 25 of those finalists will be chosen to fly the craft – likely based on their flying experience and aerial skills. Despite the long odds at stake, however, this opportunity is one for hardcore drone pilots or serious aerospace geeks will likely want to give it a shot.

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Zapata’s JetRacer differs from other craft in the flying car category. Unlike the Jetson One or AIR ONE (eVTOL) electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) personal aircraft, for example, the JetRacer has no visible propellers and is powered by kerosene rather than batteries. Thus, its focus is more on thrills than durability.

It flies using 10 micro jet engines to reach altitudes of 3,000 meters and reach top speeds of 250 km/h. These far exceed the capabilities of other personal eVTOLs being developed as transport or mid-range vehicles. Test footage of Zapata at the controls of the flying car also indicates that the JetRacer is capable of much tighter and more delicate aerial maneuvers than craft in other categories.

“JetRacer is built on a lightweight, modular chassis, allowing it to meet multiple needs, both civilian and military, as well as being remotely controlled,” notes Zapata’s product page for its flying car. “All critical systems are architected to provide an extremely high level of redundancy and safety: propulsion, control, power supply, etc.”

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The aircraft is designed to be able to continue flying even if two of the 10 engines fail. Zapata is working on two additional JetRacer prototypes for use in US flying car trials, and plans to market the craft to home, business, security and military customers.

Pending commercial deployment at an undetermined date, Zapata will allow 25 lucky test pilots to experience next-generation craft flight before anyone else.

“Become the pioneers of the mobility of the future by participating in the flight test campaign in the United States”, indicates its site. “The future is now. Don’t wait. SIGN UP.”


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