The amazing flying machine that nobody wanted.

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posted on Jan, 31 2014 @ 11:26 AM
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I came across a video that shows this amazing one man flying machine that is captivating and somewhat troubling at the same time.

Called the Williams WASP X-Jet. This personal hovercraft looks to be more functional than anything I've seen of it's ilk before or since. Apparently built in the mid 1970's the device tantalizes as to its potential. Apparently the military couldn't find use for it and it's promise was left unfulfilled.

I have to wonder though, why haven't we seen more of this technology in the past 40 years or so. Was there more to the propulsion and guidance systems than we are told? Did TPTB bury this craft and its technology for security reasons?

If anybody knows more about this amazing flying machine, it's creators or why it has gone by the way side, please share.

www.youtube.com...

edit on 31-1-2014 by Stackpot because: Learned more about it subsequent to original post.




posted on Jan, 31 2014 @ 11:35 AM
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reply to post by Stackpot
 


That craft never went to market due to several factors. Primarily helicopters. This is from Wikipedia:

The Williams X-Jet, created by Williams International, was a small, light-weight Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL) system powered by a modified Williams F107 turbofan aircraft engine designated WR-19-7 after minor modifications. This vehicle was nicknamed "The Flying Pulpit". It was designed to be operated by and carry one person and controlled by leaning in the direction of desired travel and adjusting the power. It could move in any direction, accelerate rapidly, hover, and rotate on its axis, staying aloft for up to 45 minutes and traveling at speeds up to 60 miles per hour (100 km/h). It was evaluated by the U.S. Army in the 1980s, and was deemed inferior to the capabilities of helicopters and small unmanned aircraft.

Other VTOL systems developed by Williams International included a jet-powered flying belt developed in 1969, which was powered by a Williams WR19 turbofan, and the WASP I (Williams Aerial Systems Platform) developed in the 1970s, which was powered by the more powerful WR19-9 BRP5 (rated at 670 lbst and a great SFC of just .47lbs/lb/hr).
Specifications (X-Jet)

General characteristics

Crew: One pilot
Length: ft (m)
Wingspan: ft (m)
Height: 4 ft 0 in (1.22 m)
Footprint: 4 ft² (0.4 m²)
Wing area: ft² (m²)
Empty weight: 401 lb (182 kg)
Loaded weight: 550 lb (250 kg)
Max. takeoff weight: lb (kg)
Powerplant: 1 × modified Williams F107 turbofan, 570 lbf (2.6 kN)

Performance

Maximum speed: 60 mph (96 km/h)
Range: endurance of 30-45 minutes ()
Service ceiling: 10,000 ft (3,049 m)
Rate of climb: ft/min (m/s)
Wing loading: lb/ft² (kg/m²)
Thrust/weight: 1.11

US PATENT NUMBER 4,447,024 for this Airborne Vehicle and Technical Information and Drawings is available at the USPTO. The WASP II uses a slightly modified and derated version of the WR-19-A7D (600 lbs thrust class micro turbofan engine which is designated WR19-7 (rated at 570 lbst) after minor modifications and a slight derating. Modifications to the WR-19-A7D included Accessory (replaced Pyro starter with electric/air start) and exhaust system modifications. No internal modifications to the counter-rotating micro turbofans were performed. The first manned untethered flight was made in April 1980. Ray Le Grande is one of the WASP II Operators trained by Williams International to fly the WASP II.



posted on Jan, 31 2014 @ 11:47 AM
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reply to post by Mamatus
 


So that's it? Why wasn't it offered for recreational use? Too expensive? Surely there is a market for the "Flying Pulpit". I just think it's strange that such a promising device just vanishes from the scene.

Maybe it was a noisy bugger, IDK



posted on Jan, 31 2014 @ 11:49 AM
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reply to post by Mamatus
 


Considering technological advances in materials, miniaturization, fuel/engine and computation imagine a drone that could accelerate the unit maneuverability to the extreme and exceed the altitude ceiling for human transportation. It would also be more interesting to naval service since it does not require so much infrastructure on deck.

edit on 31-1-2014 by Panic2k11 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 31 2014 @ 11:51 AM
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That thing would be awesome as a flying Popemobile!



posted on Jan, 31 2014 @ 12:05 PM
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It could definitely have it usefulness in some fields. It was probably to expensive at the time to offer to the public along with non disclosure contract agreements which could be routed now.

Hey if I had the start up money I think there is a market for them now. They would be awesome for search and rescue and I am sure the flight times could be improved. I remember that they did have a two person version on the drawing board.

I thank you for bringing this up again I had forgotten all about it. It looks fun.



posted on Jan, 31 2014 @ 12:05 PM
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reply to post by Stackpot
 


My god that is bada$$ i want one

Now

It would even fit on top of my van

Surely with material advancements we could get it to a 60 mile range

That would be sweet

So sweet

I think i am in love



posted on Jan, 31 2014 @ 12:12 PM
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One of the reasons it would never make it into military use is the inability to multi-task. Also you would need 40 of those little machines to move the number of troops that a single Chinook can. In the end, requiring just as much deck space. A helicopter can carry cargo and people. Much better.

Below 300ft. it is a death trap as any mechanical failure will result in a crash that a parachute will not save you from.

For civilian use? Well, having been a soaring pilot for over 25 years now I can safely say most people would not ever fly one of those. I can line up 1000 people and offer them a free glider or balloon ride and most will not go, not even for free. Don't even get me started on the FAA issues.....



posted on Jan, 31 2014 @ 01:02 PM
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reply to post by Mamatus
 


Right, there isn't anything the WASP X-Jet can do that can't be done cheaper and more efficiently by other means (helicopters, quad-copter UAV's). Also for the military, if one was to try to fire a weapon from it, I would think it would be very difficult to maintain stability.
While it might be super fun to fly, I just imagine all the lawsuits that would come from people flying these things into trees and the sides of buildings.



posted on Jan, 31 2014 @ 01:14 PM
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Anyone else thinking Snake Eater? I didn't know they were actually real though, lol.



posted on Jan, 31 2014 @ 01:15 PM
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Any reason something like this could not be expanded to create a larger platform for carrying... say... a group of people? Have we got directed jet systems that would be lighter, and more efficient than this now? My layman mind goes to the idea of jets at 4 corners of a bus. (As a prototype, of course. The end result would have to be at least 20% cooler. Maybe a Delorean for round 2.)



posted on Jan, 31 2014 @ 01:21 PM
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Stackpot
I have to wonder though, why haven't we seen more of this technology in the past 40 years or so. Was there more to the propulsion and guidance systems than we are told? Did TPTB bury this craft and its technology for security reasons?

I can think of one good reason:



posted on Jan, 31 2014 @ 01:22 PM
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Sammamishman
While it might be super fun to fly, I just imagine all the lawsuits that would come from people flying these things into trees and the sides of buildings.

Oh, and the NOISE! These things had to be just deafening up close. I'm sure the neighbors would love to be next door to somebody zooming around in one of these.



posted on Jan, 31 2014 @ 01:24 PM
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Stackpot
I came across a video that shows this amazing one man flying machine that is captivating and somewhat troubling at the same time.

Called the Williams WASP X-Jet. This personal hovercraft looks to be more functional than anything I've seen of it's ilk before or since. Apparently built in the mid 1970's the device tantalizes as to its potential. Apparently the military couldn't find use for it and it's promise was left unfulfilled.

I have to wonder though, why haven't we seen more of this technology in the past 40 years or so. Was there more to the propulsion and guidance systems than we are told? Did TPTB bury this craft and its technology for security reasons?

If anybody knows more about this amazing flying machine, it's creators or why it has gone by the way side, please share.

www.youtube.com...

edit on 31-1-2014 by Stackpot because: Learned more about it subsequent to original post.


anyone else thinking that we should have been able to come up with something like this by now:



posted on Jan, 31 2014 @ 01:35 PM
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Blue Shift

Sammamishman
While it might be super fun to fly, I just imagine all the lawsuits that would come from people flying these things into trees and the sides of buildings.

Oh, and the NOISE! These things had to be just deafening up close. I'm sure the neighbors would love to be next door to somebody zooming around in one of these.


Well, I for one will take two ! For one thing, I'm older and don't care to live forever. Also, my neighbors are all elderly with poor hearing ( and they live in crappy houses anyway ). The clincher ? I live in a desert with not a lot of trees.

Any more excuses ?



posted on Jan, 31 2014 @ 02:03 PM
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Very Cool .



posted on Jan, 31 2014 @ 02:33 PM
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reply to post by Bazart
 


That's what I am saying. Except I am not that old.

As I said before they could fill a role for search and rescue in mountainous terrain. Or just about anything mountainous.

As far as military use goes they are not so practical I was thinking they would be decent for the navy in fleet maneuvers for personnel to move from ship to ship but that does seem sketchy if something went wrong.

It is the civilian field these could be useful. Replacing much of the material used to build them with carbon fiber that would go a long way in reducing the weight and adding to flight time.

I am betting the design is still a military secret. Freaking red tape.


Another issue that would need to be addressed before we have hover dealerships would be what to classify them as.

What kind of license would one need to fly one of those things? Would it be in an ultralight category or would one need something like a pilots license. Freaking red tape.
edit on 31-1-2014 by Grimpachi because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 31 2014 @ 03:29 PM
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reply to post by Stackpot
 


Cool, I want one! I swear I saw something like this in a science fiction movie, Star Wars maybe?



posted on Jan, 31 2014 @ 03:50 PM
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I got to have one of these. It looks like it works as slick as a whistle. I'd prefer one of these to an ATV. I think this thing could revolutionize short travel, not to mention, fire fighters could use it. Maybe even pizza delivery. Oh the possibilities.



posted on Jan, 31 2014 @ 03:51 PM
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Those big wide side panels would make it VERY unstable in wind gusts.


If it got flipped you would end up being driven 6 foot under in no time ( no grave digging needed and comes as a ready made coffin )





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