Zapata's 10-engine Jetracer is mostly for recreation, but it lays the groundwork for the company's entrance into the air mobility market.
What has one seat, 10 jet engines and autonomous flight capabilities? It's the Jetracer from Zapata.
You might be familiar with the Zapata name due to the company's viral videos of its inventions such as the Flyboard and Flyboard Air.
Now the company is using its experience making flying machines to branch out into mass transit. You can think of the Jetracer as a bridge technology between Zapata's recreational vehicles and the air mobility market.
The Jetracer's top speed is expected to be in the neighborhood of 125 to 155 miles per hour, and its max altitude is expected to be higher than 9,800 feet. However, these figures aren't finalized, since the Jetracer is still going through testing and tweaking.
With 10 engines, Zapata says, the Jetracer can lose two and still fly.
Despite the Jetracer's sleek and intimidating design, "It's actually quite easy to fly," according to Jules Birchler, Zapata's head of business development.
That ease comes, the company says, from the Jetracer's built-in flight controller, which is designed to prevent crashes, stabilize the craft in challenging conditions, and even allow for autonomous capabilities.
Pilots input where they want to go, and the flight controller decides how to do it. The company also released video of an unmanned Jetracer doing a barrel roll, which Birchler says was a "pre-designed stunt" using a flight simulator to figure out what inputs would be needed to have the Jetracer do a barrel roll at the push of a button.