May 10, 2011 weblog
Water-propelled jetpack hits the market for $99,500 (w/ video)
(PhysOrg.com) -- A water-propelled jetpack called Jetlev R200 is possibly the most fun-looking water activity yet. The Florida-based company Jetlev Technologies, Inc., working with German company MS Watersports GmbH, has recently started limited production in a phased roll-out program. At a cost of $99,500 per jetpack, the target market for the recreational device is holiday resorts.
The Jetlev is lighter (30 pounds [14 kg] when dry) and less bulky than other jetpack designs because its four-stroke, 250-hp engine and fuel are located on a small boat that is tethered to the jetpack by a 33-ft (10-m) hose. As the pilot steers the device, the boat follows along in the water. The boat delivers water to the jetpack through the hose, and thrust is generated by forcing the water downward through the nozzles located on each side of the jetpack.
Jetlev Technologies says that this design greatly improves the thrust-to-weight ratio compared to other jetpacks, allowing the Jetlev to propel a 150-lb (68-kg) pilot to speeds of up to 22 mph (35 km/h) at heights of up to 28 ft (8.5 m). The Jetlev can accommodate pilots who are 4.9-6.5 ft (1.5-2 m) tall and weigh 88-330 lb (40-150 kg). With a 26-gallon (100-liter) tank, the Jetlev can operate for about one hour at full throttle or up to three hours at cruising speeds.
The company also says that most people can learn how to fly the Jetlev after a few minutes of in-water instruction. Thrust is controlled through grip twist, while lifting the control arms up and down can move the pilot forward or backward by changing the angle of the nozzles. Differential nozzle angles allow the jetpack to be turned left and right. The Jetlev also has several safety features, including a 5-point quick-release harness, protective backrest, head support, and inherent flotation.
The ride is not uncomfortable, since the pilots weight is supported by the padded unicycle-style saddle and leg trapeze. Although pilots must be at least 18 years old, the company says that if you are 82, healthy and in good physical condition, there is no reason why you could not fly.
Designed for both fresh and salt water, the Jetlevs exposed metal pieces are made of either stainless steel or hard coat anodized aluminum with Teflon coating to protect against corrosion and abrasion.
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