Are you feeling lucky?
JetPack Aviation has been scoring major publicity points ever since the public tests of their JB-10 off the coast of Monaco just last month. Now, the company has announced that it will begin selling the JB-10.
But don't get your wallet out just yet. The company is offering to sell the jetpack "to well qualified buyers" only. That's presumably because they don't want bad press from people recklessly playing with two jet engines strapped behind their back (and potentially hurting themselves).
The JB-10 is the quintessential jetpack, a backpack with two jet engines strapped to it. The new model delivers 7 percent more power than the JB-9 and can go up at a rate of 305 meters (1,000 ft) per minute. Each ride lasts between 5 and 10 minutes.
Delivery of any sold JB-10 units is expected for April or May 2017, but even if you aren't one of the lucky "qualified" few, you still have a chance to ride a JB-10. The company has issued a contest for a chance to win a jetpack flight in LA, dinner with the company's founders, and $1,000 in travel vouchers.
A Race to the Sky
As with most technology, JetPack Aviation is not the only company developing jetpacks. The BW-Air Jetpack works as a golf-cart jetpack. It has a 210 hp engine and twin propellers, giving players a bird's-eye-view of the golf course. There's also the Martin Jetpack of the Martin Aircraft Company. This one can run for 30 minutes and is commercially available for a steep $250,000.
JetPack Aviation is working on another jetpack design, as well. This one is smaller and features six small engines instead of two large ones. They are also working on a new computer for the jetpack, as well as ballistic parachutes.
Finding ways to effectively train these new pilots could be trickier than developing the tech, but JetPack Aviation is already building an electric, tethered training facility to ensure that their pilots are ready for the responsibility. With so many companies working on jetpacks, we could be getting our hands on the tech very soon — assuming our bank accounts allow for it.