David Mayman flies the JB-9 jetpack (Credit: Jetpack Aviation)
The dream of personal flight took a great leap forward last week as Jetpack Aviation unveiled its JB-9 jetpack in spectacular fashion. Lifting off from a boat, inventor and aviator David Mayman flew the powerful, agile JB-9 around the Statue of Liberty, pausing to salute and pirouette before touching back down. Running on kerosene and using two vectored jet engines, the JB-9 can reach high speeds and altitudes and offers a flight time over 10 minutes, depending on pilot weight. We spoke at length with Mayman to discover how the JB-9 works and how long it’ll be before we can buy one.
It’s 2015. Where’s my damn jetpack?
Believe it or not, people have been trying to build a jetpack for nearly a hundred years now. A portable, powerful device you can strap to your back, fire up and take to the skies for true freedom in three dimensions.
Things must have looked very positive in the 1960s when Bell’s Rocketbelt made its public debut. Thats the kind of design you might remember from the 1984 Olympics opening ceremony in Los Angeles. These hydrogen peroxide rocket belts are compact, very cool to look at, and perform more or less as you’d expect a jetpack to. Unfortunately they’re also difficult to fly, the fuel is extremely pricey and it runs out so quickly that you’re limited to about 30 seconds of flight.