Kiribati

The concept

The Kiribati is a flying platform concept capable of flying at low altitude with a range of 30 minutes.

The background

The Kiribati is inspired by all the new prototypes developed with reaction thrusters, such as the Flyboard Air, Zapata’s personal flying vehicle. This propulsion technology could be used on construction sites for quick inspections or tower inspections.

How does this work ?

The Kiribati would be the size of a scissor lift. It would be able to safely carry two 200 pound workers with enough fuel to land at any time. The vehicle would be equipped with eight variable jet thrusters, capable of producing 200 lbs of thrust each. There would be two in each corner of Kiribati to have redundancy.

Each jet could be tilted with precise electrical solenoids to optimize control during flight. To power the reactors, the Kiribati would be equipped with two pressurized tanks located inside its frame to supply fuel to the system, for a period of 20 minutes. The removable tanks would be aligned with the centre of gravity of the flying platform.

Jet nozzles would allow small lateral corrections if necessary. The computerized flight system would automatically stabilize the vehicle all microseconds. The driver should still be trained to master the Kiribati and learn to react to its movements.

The Kiribati would have skates to land at very low speed and skid a little if necessary. Airbags may be added to some units. Vehicle speed could be limited to 30 km/h and flight altitude could also be limited to 300 feet AGL. Of course, these parameters could change based on client requirements and risk tolerance or local regulation.

Potential market

The Kiribati could be used as an industrial device to inspect structures at heights. The use of gas jets allows a lot of pushing in small space. It would be possible to use a non-polluting fuel. The noise from the jets will, however, be quite noisy and will probably not be tolerated on a daily basis. The Kiribati could also be used for rescue operations when the time is critical (for example by firefighters).

Acknowledgement

The Kiribati concept was imagined in May 2019 and the images of this concept were produced by Ashish Thulkar, an industrial designer from Bangalore, India. Ashish earned a master degree in design from the Indian Institute of Science in 2014. He is currently working as an independent vehicle designer in Mumbai, India.