Guy Invents Jetpack, Flies it Around Lady Liberty
It would seem that lately, every time you turn around, someone, somewhere is flying around in a jetpack-type thing. Just last week, I shared with you the footage of Swiss fighter pilot and adventurer Yves Rossy using his own carbon-fiber composite jet wing to fly with an Emirates A380 over Dubai.
This week's Jetman is Jetpack Aviation's CEO, David Mayman. Using his company's latest offering in the jetpack arena, the JB-9 Jetpack, he took a little spin around New York Harbor, with the Statue of Liberty in the background.
According to Jetpack Aviation, the JB-9 can climb to heights above 10,000 feet (about 3,048 meters), travel at speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour (about 161 kilometers per hour) and fly for about 10 minutes before needing to be refueled.
The company calls the JB-9 "the world's only true jetpack," but that seems a bit more of a semantic difference than an actual one. The jetpack Bond wore in 1965 actually did exist, although it was technically more of a belt than a pack. Called the Bell Rocket Belt, it was powered by hydrogen peroxide and could only fly for about 20 seconds before needing more fuel. The same guy who flew that contraption in the movie as one of its stuntmen, Bill Suitor, later flew a similar jetpack into the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in 1984 as part of the Olympic Opening ceremonies.
Looking forward to one day when jetpacks will be commonplace, Jetpack Aviation says the JB-9 is small enough and light enough to fit in the back of a car. Hoping to be in use in the near future, the JB-9 is already approved for flight by the United States' Federation Aviation Administration and Coast Guard. However...
A company called Martin Aviation may, though, beat them to the punch. The Martin Jetpack is set to go on sale next year for around $150,000, and it can fly for over 30 minutes at 74 kilometers per hour (about 46 miles per hour), according to Reuters. It is, however, quite a bit bigger than the JB-9 and doesn't look at all like it could fit in the trunk of your car.
Here's a look at the Martin Jetpack: