A duo made headlines recently by flying over Dubai and chasing an Airbus A380, which made for exciting news, but a company called Jetpack Aviation thinks that the kind of technology used in the caper should never be called "jetpack." This came after they unveiled JB-9 last week, which the company touts as the world's only true jetpack.
"We believe a JetPack should be just that - a jet turbine powered backpack that is capable of vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL), is extremely light and small and can easily be carried around by the pilot," the company said on its website. "It should be powerful enough to lift the pilot quickly to thousands of feet above the ground, but small enough to fit into the trunk of a car."
The statement is a subtle dig at the Jetman Duo, Yves Rossy and his protégé, Vince Reffet, whose "jetpacks" resembled miniature jetplanes. Their devices required diligent planning and coordination to operate, according to a previous HNGN report. Many jetpacks today also do not meet the "true jetpack" criteria since they involve ducted fans, rockets and engine-powered wing suits, according to Popular Science.
JB-9, with its jet turbine technology, is capable of dynamic maneuvers and is highly portable. Watch one being piloted above Ellis Island in New York City in the video below. Note how the pilot achieved - not just stable flight - but a smooth landing. It is also incredible watching it maneuver while airborne. This is made possible through an engine vectoring technology that Jetpack Aviation has developed in the past 25 years.
Jetpack Aviation claims that the next-generation jetpack they are testing is capable of 100 mph flight at a 10,000-feet altitude. There is still no information on whether it will hit the market anytime soon, but the company is already developing a virtual reality simulator to train jetpack pilots.