No need to despair about the flying car! The blog Techfyre points me toward a water-powered jetpack being flown over the Thames as part of the London International Boat Show this past week. Running off a water-hose intake, the JetLev jetpack can achieve a height of 30 meters and go 22 miles an hour.
Turns out you can find out lots more at JetLev.com. The manufacturer describes the technology thusly:
Unlike conventional aircrafts and jetpacks, the innovative Jetlev concept greatly improves thrust-to-weight ratio by locating the propulsion engine, fuel and related systems on a separate vessel tethered behind the jetpack, and uses water as the jet propulsion medium because its high density can carry vast amounts of power at much lower velocities, and generate nozzle reaction forces much more effectively, than gases.
Wanna know my very favorite part of the video? The disclaimer at the beginning:
What to think, then, of the fact that you can get your training on The YouTube?
Anyway, the fact that the JetLev can’t carry its own supply of water, of course, limits it applications, but as for having beaucoups fun while looking weird and slightly ridiculous, it seems to be perfectly applicable.
The Daily Mail says the thing costs £110,000, and JetLev.com says that it’s recruiting dealers, and you can fill out a form to be considered. It’s also licensed the technology to developers in Germany and Dubai. The site still says it has “plans” to make a model available for demonstrations in Florida starting in November 2010, and that:
We are planning a limited rollout in select markets including South Florida, Hawaii, Bahamas, the Caribbean and the Asia-Pacific region, hopefully by December 2010. Other regions are also under consideration.
Given your other jet pack options, like commissioning a custom-made rig from Jet Pack International, the Rocket Belt, buying one from a more questionable dealer or building one yourself, if you’re dead-set on jet pack recreation, the JetLev looks like a bargain.