November 17, 2014

Oakley’s Flying Suit Dreams

Oakley have released a clip with Scotty James talking about the future sport project – which must have been what that party was about back here. He has worked with Oakley and a design firm to create what they’re calling a ‘flying suit’ (why they didn’t just go with ‘flight suit’ I don’t know?!?). The jacket has two rotors mounted on the shoulder blades to create lift giving more air time and potentially the ability to direct airflow allowing for faster spins.

Now, I don’t want to crush any dreams here but breaking it down, let’s assume that Scotty weighs in somewhere around 70kgs… Taking a look around the internet, there’s a kickstarter for a heavy lifting quadcopter that requires two, two stroke engines to lift 22.6kgs. Something tells me that we’re not going to (safely) get 12 rotors of that size mounted right behind the riders head.

But maybe it’s not about direct lift, but rather airflow in a similar way to how an F1 car uses downforce? In that case, ignoring the interference of the fabric of the jacket and changing airflows, not to mention the variable position of the rider and the outside wind direction, it doesn’t seem that it could be manipulated to actually have the desired effect that they’re after here. Nor would two electric run rotors of that size do anything other than perhaps create a nice breeze on a warm day.

Having said all that – I’m no engineer, but I know there’s engineers reading. Anyone know a way this could work? Video for analysis below.

by Dave