A Swedish company has unabashedly adopted the pop culture name synonymous with flying cars and is now taking orders for what might be a viable personal eVTOL. The production model Jetson One was unveiled last week and the 12 ultralight and drone-like single-seat aircraft being built in 2022 have already been sold at the introductory price of $92,000. The company’s brazen adoption of the name of the iconic space age cartoon family made popular in the 1960s is also reflected in its mission statement. “Our mission is to make flight available to everyone,” the company said in its news release. “The Jetson ONE is an electric helicopter that you can own and fly. We intend to make everyone a pilot.”
The actual operation of the aircraft blurs the line between passenger and pilot, however. The occupant steers and decides how fast to go (up to a limit of about 50 knots) but the computer looks after mundane details like keeping it in the flight envelope and away from objects thanks to a suite of LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) sensors. Like a drone, the aircraft will automatically hands-free hover over a point. Endurance is about 20 minutes. Because it’s an ultralight, no certificate is required. The Jetson has eight motors and rotors and can fly with one motor out. If things get more serious than that, a ballistic parachute is standard equipment. It comes as a 50 percent kit that has “detailed build instructions” but the company doesn’t say how long it takes to complete.