Williams X-Jet “The Wasp”- a technology that never caught on.

Sometimes in our technology History, we make some amazing pieces of technology that never really catch on for one reason or another. Not only that, but sometimes we also have technology that for some reason or another, just randomly come to an end.

A good example is the Electric vehicle, we had designs that pushed the vehicle at 70+ Mph on a single charge for over 100 miles before having to be recharged. That was in 1899, and now were trying to get back to that level of technology. In the 1920’s Electric vehicles and Gas powered vehicles were both competing against each other and look at us now.

But anyways, back to our “Wasp”

The Wasp was created by Williams International under the name of Williams X-Jet, it was a small, light-weight Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL) system that was designed for the Military. Unfortunately the Military thought that it was impractical – because it had limited capabilities. It was unable to fly above 10,000 feet, the top speed was just barely at 60 Mph, and above all, it could only fly for about 30-45 minutes on a full tank of gas, it could only carry one person, the Pilot, it could only carry about 550 Pounds.

The Wasp was developed in the 1970s and was powered by the powerful WR19-9, a special type of turbo engine. Once it was in the air, the pilot could control the direction of travel by tilting towards one direction and thus causing the thrust of the craft to push it to wards the opposite direction.

The Wasp is actually on display at the Seattle Museum of Flight, just in case you have trouble believing it. I don’t know how stable this would be, but it is an amazing piece of technology none of the less. We are currently trying to develop a Jet Pack, and we get about 30 seconds of flight time Max which is extremely impractical. But this? come on, they could have pushed it to a new level.

One thing to take into consideration is that during that time, companies were more focused on developing items and technologies for the Military rather than for the public. So I guess that can explain it. Either way, check out the video below to see it fly around in the early development stages before the Army decided it sucked.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJARrc40imk]