Military Embedded Systems

Air Force, Special Forces competition chooses JetPack Aviation to compete in VTOL challenge


August 11, 2021

Lisa Daigle

Assistant Managing Editor

Military Embedded Systems

Rendering of Speeder HSVTOL in piloted configuration. Photo courtesy JetPack Aviation.

VENTURA, Calif. JetPack Aviation announced that its Speeder VTOL [vertical takeoff and landing] platform was chosen by the AFWERX High Speed VTOL (HSVTOL) Concept Challenge -- launched in partnership with the U.S. Air Force (USAF) and U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) -- which is aimed at fielding research, development, and testing, and procurement contracts to produce aircraft for the USAF.

JetPack Aviation is one of three OEMs included in the 35 successful challengers, which were selected from a total of 218 submissions. 

The HSVTOL Concept challenge is intended to satisfy mission profiles including the infiltration and exfiltration of Special Operations Forces (SOF), personnel recovery, aeromedical evacuation, and tactical mobility, at jet-type speeds.

According to a company announcement, the JetPack Aviation Speeder VTOL is powered by small, gimballed turbojet engines that can potentially reach speeds approaching 300 mph. The Speeder’s footprint is also considerably reduced since it has no rotors, ducted fans, or propellers.

The JetPack Speeder enables high-speed forward flight, the company announcement says, with control and lift affected by aerodynamic surfaces as required, building on the aircraft’s ability to fly on engine thrust vectoring. While the aircraft currently uses regular Jet A-1, kerosene, or diesel, a recent cooperative supply agreement with Prometheus Fuels means that JetPack Aviation has committed to using 100% zero net carbon fuel in all its own future operations. 

Initial presentations are being made to the AFWERX representatives this week to highlight the capabilities of the Speeder and its potential applications for military operations.

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