Well, not really, but they could, in years to come, because the idea behind them is really cool and fairly simple.
A UK-based company, Dreamscience Propulsion, is working on developing electric thruster jet engines that can be used for all manner of (winter) sports. The concept is not new, in principle, but so far, the approach has been to strap the engine to the vehicle itself or the rider, whereas now you’d get two units bolted to the ends of a bar/rod which you’d hold in your hands parallel to the ground and intuitively get to grips with how it works.
The original spark came from Adam Contoret who explains his motivation: "The thruster is a very powerful motor driving a fan, about 30,000 rpm," adding that "A modern jet engine has a turbojet propulser module at the core of the engine and this drives a large fan at the front of the engine that generates most of the thrust. Electric motor technology has recently progressed to the level where the turbojet core can be replaced with a high power electric motor.”
He pointed out that “a turbojet core generates massive amounts of heat,” and yet “an advantage of a motor core is the cool exhaust air stream making extreme sports applications possible without the danger of getting burned."
The current prototype features four 8 kW electric motors for power and is made using fairly exotic materials like carbon fiber and aluminum. See it in action in the video posted below!
By Andrei Nedelea