‘Jetpacks For Weiner
Art Project for Art 511
This proposed project called ‘Jetpacks for Weiner dogs,’ is a
combination of science, technology and art, and although it has its
applications in safety and other logistics, its main intention is
art. I am choosing Weiner dogs (Dotson) solely for the sake of
humor, and since jetpack technology is still in its embryonic stage, a
lightweight dog is the most plausible contestant.
The idea, in terms of safety, is that the jetpack would be remote
controlled by the dog’s owner, who could lift the dog as it crosses
busy streets and have it land safely on the otherside of the street.
Or, in the case that the dog takes off to chase a bird or a bear, the
owner can lift the dog into the air and have it return to the owner’s
In terms of the Jetpack’s safety, the pack itself would limit the
animal from going above 15 feet in the air. Yet, there will be a
parachute deployed whenever the engine stops abruptly, similar to
Take off with a conventional jetpack strapped to your back and you'll
have about 60 seconds of airtime. The short duration is due to the low
specific impulse of rockets and jets. Alternatively, electrodynamics
propulsion delivers a higher specific impulse, but at significantly
lower thrust. However, a new device called the Lifter, may offer higher
efficiencies than rockets or fans.
The Lifter is a modern recreation of De Seversky's ionocraft which has
gained considerable popularity among experimenters in recent years. The
lifter's appeal can be traced to three factors: they can be built from
common materials like balsa wood and aluminum foil, results are easily
reproduced, and they represent the first heavier-than-air craft to fly
without moving parts. This last fact led some experimenters to believe
they had demonstrated anti-gravity. Vacuum tests by NASA and
theMythbusters, however, concluded that the only phenomenon at work is
ion wind. To back up this claim, researchers measured the downward
blast of air from the lifter with an anemometer and found that it
accounted for 100% of the thrust needed to levitate the device. Sorry
folks, but no antigravity here.
So even though the lifter is not anti-gravity, it continues to
fascinate hobbyists and scientists alike. The lifter works by creating
a high electric field between the emitter wire and a collector (made
from aluminum foil). When powered by a source of high-voltage DC
(typically 15-30kv), the emitter wire produces an ion cloud which draws
the collector upwards towards it by the force of electrostatic
attraction. When the ions collide with the collector, there is a
transfer of charge leaving a neutral downward flow of air.
The lifter has an average thrust loading of .29g/watt. In comparison, a
helicopter has an efficiency of about 8.5g/watt or 14lbs/hp. But by
using a more effective ionization process, HoverTech believes the
lifter's thrust can be increased by as much as 30 times given the same
amount of power. This would put the lifter on par with helicopters and
ducted fans, but without the noise.
Progress with lifters has been steady. For example, a craft built by
Jean-Louis Naudin of JLN Labs was able to levitate a mouse. So are
ion-propelled jetpacks next? We'll have a better idea after conducting
experiments, but a jetpack that doesn't require flame-resistant
underwear could certainly be useful.
Ultimately, my idea is that the jetpack not take up more space than
this racing jersey worn by the undefeated champion of Weiner Dog
Clearly there are unlimited possibilities to what one can do with this,
and I think that anyone seeing a Weiner dog, or many Weiner dogs,
flying through the air, even if just at head level, is alone my work of
art. However, taking it further, I would like then to have a
group of dogs in a theatre performance piece, where the dogs would be
dressed up perhaps as angels and would fly out among the audience in
the beautific vision of the celestial realm.
In addition, I would like to see the technology evolve to the point
where the dog could control the trajectories of the jetpack, so that
perhaps we could one day see dogs who take them selves out to pee, so
long as someone leaves a window open.
A jetpack could also help disabled dogs like this one.
Dotsons and their owners will have to go through training before they
can use one. Dogs may not take well to the skies at first, and so
potty training with the jetpack training would be required. Typically
training would begin when the dogs were puppies.
WEINEY ON A STRING
If either the dog or the owner are having issues with being
aerodynamic, or for aesthetic reasons, it is possible to attach a
string to the dog’s jetpack so that the owner can carry the dog as
though it were a balloon.