It’s every schoolboy’s fantasy! Jetpacks are REAL, and they’re about to REVOLUTIONIZE THE WAY YOU GET TO WORK! OR ARRIVE AT THE CLUB! OR GO THE GROCERY STORE! OK, I’m a little ahead of technology here, but this is really, really exciting news.
After a test flight around the Statue of Liberty earlier this year, the worldwide launch of the Jetpack JB-10 took place in Monaco yesterday. David Mayman piloted the Jetpack-10 from the heliport of Monaco and flew over the sea for a few minutes.
There have been jetpacks before, of course. In the sixties, a jet pack was produced that used kerosene and could fly for about 25 minutes. An earlier one was more like a rocket using hydrgen peroxide to super-heat steam. Neither one made it much farther than the prototype, as the US Army preferred helicopters and had no interest in pouring money into the project.
But now, the time is right.
From New Atlas:
The three public flights in Monaco will be our first look at the JB-10, as well as the first joint event Jetpack Aviation is putting on with Aerostar Monaco, which it’s listing as a distributor. The company says it’s also been working with the FAA to define a new classification for the jetpack and other vehicles like it, so all signs are certainly pointing toward a jetpack becoming commercially available in the very near future.
“We’re ready to produce the JB-10 version now but only for over water usage until the parachute is completed,” Mayman tells us. “The US military is helping with the parachute testing program under a Co-operative Research and Development Agreement.”
About that parachute option, and the overall danger that a Jetpack malfunction would entail:
When I last met Mayman at Jetpack Aviation HQ in Los Angeles this January, he and Tyler were wrestling with the idea of how to bring jetpack technology to the market responsibly because, clearly, with something like this, the potential for disaster is significant. Mayman told us the team was looking into the potential of automatic ballistic parachutes that fire when the jetpack’s onboard computers detect an engine failure case.
Another key step in selling a jetpack system would be training. “I think we could train someone fairly intensively if we had them for a week,” Mayman told us. “We’ve got a tether system with a cable. The idea is we’d set up an electric propulsion system so we don’t have to refuel all the time and put hours on the turbine engines. It’s also a lot easier to run electric engines than turbines for noise and smell, and all that, when you’re operating downtown.
“We could run them up and down here all week, and then at the end of the week, get them on the turbine version, and on the turbine version they could go off the tether. You pretty quickly get a sense of what feels right and what works and what doesn’t work. It’s pretty intuitive.”
(Photos: Pacific Coast News)