Over the last few generations, kids have grown up watching some of most exciting tech concepts in action, mostly thanks to sci-fi and fantasy movie magic. Lots of us have hoped to someday ride in a flying car, wield a real light saber, and perhaps float down the sidewalk on our very own hoverboards.


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When imaginary tech dazzles kids who sometimes grow up to be ambitious engineers, that’s how exciting and futuristic technology becomes reality. That may be why we’ve seen so many different takes on thrilling concepts the personal, wearable jetpack. This mode of transportation makes the imagination take flight, but most attempts at building and using don’t go beyond the experimental stages. Even the most successful developments tend to fall short of what truly qualifies as a jetpack.

Credit: Steve Jurvetson

Keeping The Jet In Jetpack
We’ve seen hover bikes, hydrojet packs, rocket belts, wing suits, and other inventions that allow individuals to vertically lift off the ground—and with vary degrees control—achieve some manner of flight. For every attempt, there have been a wide range of challenges and limitations, but it’s argued that we’ve never really see a successfully built and operated jetpack—meaning a device that actually uses wearable jet powered turbines—until now. Called the “world’s only jetpack” the JB-9 is a jet turbine powered backpack that allows the wearer to vertically takeoff from the ground, reach altitudes that exceed 10,000 feet, fly at speeds up to 100 mph, and do so for as long as ten minutes before gently lowering to the ground again.

A Picture Perfect Public Flight
The JB-9 comes from JetPack Aviation. Their latest inception on this flying marvel comes after 70 years of design experience. It recently made photo-worthy news as Jetpack Aviation’s  David Mayman flew with the JB-9 across the Hudson River, in-view of the Statue of Liberty on November 3rd.

With this successful public flight, there’s now a question of what’s next for the JB-9 and who outside of the developers will be next to pilot it. As expected, the military may make use of the technology for operations in remote areas. It’s also been proposed as an innovation that could be use by Hollywood for impressive practical effects.

Credit: Danschlund


Where To Next?
It may disappoint some to hear that the JB-9 will not be made available for private purchase and use, which isn’t all that surprising considering the current complications that come with trying to regulate the use of unmanned aircraft. That doesn’t mean the JB-9 and other crafts like it are destine to remain as restricted military and showcase aircraft.

JetPack Aviation is reportedly considering the development of an automated, self-stabilizing version that would remove a lot of operations variables and training requirements from the experience of piloting one. This could mean letting more people experience a flight with a jetpack in any number of controlled settings.

Would you give it a try?

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