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Jet Skiing

EAAer invents sport as he pursues jet wing

By Fareed Guyot, Manager – Electronic Publications, EAA 388642
Ski mounted camera
Troy Hartman tests the engines for his jet wing. The experienced stuntman is already thinking of ways to use this skiing method for other stunts and to attract jet wing sponsors.

Side view
Troy Hartman tests out the engines for his jet wing by way of a jet pack. A mountain plateau in California was selected to test the high-altitude performance of the engines.

Hartman's RV-4
Troy Hartman’s RV-4, which he purchased in 1998.

March 17, 2011 — Yves Rossy may soon have a wingman in his jet wing exploits. Troy Hartman, EAA 732927, has been developing a similar aircraft since 2008 and will be ready to begin flight testing this fall. Hartman is also calling his aircraft a jet wing, featuring a rigid wing like Rossy’s that is 50 percent lighter and employs simplicity throughout his design approach including how he will be attached to the wing and how it will be controlled. The professional stuntman, aerobatic instructor, and X-Games and sky surfing champion, who hopes to one day fly with Rossy, inadvertently invented a new sport recently when he tested the engines while on a pair of skis.

Troy Hartman is following a somewhat similar path to Rossy’s to achieve his jet wing dreams. Rossy is a veteran sky diver and sky surfing pioneer and used those experiences in the early development phase of his jet wing. Hartman, 14 years his junior, was a world champion sky surfer in the 1990s and his approach to his jet wing design are influenced in part by his vast experience with the many and varied aerial stunts he has attempted.

Read about Yves Rossy’s jet wing in March’s Sport Aviation

Hartman, who attended the Air Force Academy for a time and later earned an Aeronautical Engineering degree from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, has assembled a small team to assist him in this currently self-financed project.

“Simplicity. We have a couple of clever ways of keeping the wing really light and really simple and still having a lot of the system components you need,” Hartman told EAA Radio. Troy is hoping that at some point he can work with Scaled Composites and fellow Cal Poly alumnus Burt Rutan on his project.

Troy will power his jet wing with two engines that are normally used in military UAVs and two key questions had to be answered: How the engines would perform next to his body and at high altitudes, where Rossy had also experienced some problems. To test both of these theories the team built a jet pack and headed to some snowy high-altitude flatlands in California. On a pair of skis, Troy was able to reach speeds of 47 mph while at 50 percent throttle (see the video below). Troy says flight testing will likely begin in the fall in Arizona using a Shorts Skyvan as the launch platform.

“Never in my wildest dreams would I think I would be getting a call from EAA for something I did on skis,” said Hartman, who owns an RV-4. “Staying persistent and staying creative and doing what I feel like I’m on the planet to do.”

EAA RadioListen to an interview with Troy Hartman

Hartman is searching for a sponsor for the wing and will soon attempt a promotional stunt by skiing with his jet pack up a mountain. You may not have heard of Troy Hartman before, but you likely have seen him. After his X Games success he parlayed his sky surfing prowess into a part in the Pepsi Goose spot, which ended up being the winning Super Bowl ad in 1998. That led to other commercials and his own show, Senseless Acts of Video, on MTV. Hartman’s exstensive stunt credits include sky surfing stunt double work for George Clooney, Anthony Michael Hall, and David Hasselhoff.


Testing New Jetpack on Skis - Troy Hartman from Troy Hartman on Vimeo.

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