While dreams of flying over car-choked roads during your rush hour commute in your personal jet pack may still be a few decades away, the future is here right now if you want to spend your weekends flying over the waves with your personal hydro powered jet pack.
Spraying water out of a pair of actuated jet nozzles at enough pressure (420 lb-f), to lift a full grown man 3 stories in the air, the JetLev R200 is a two piece water engineering wonder: a light-weight jet pack tethered by a 33-foot hose to a 200-hp, 10.5′ x 4′ “boat unit” that serves two purposes: store enough fuel to let you cruise over the waves for up to four hours, and draw in the water that serves as the JetLev’s propulsion.
Once you’ve completed the Pilot Certification Training & Safety Course to learn how to “fly comfortably with precision and control” (read: not slam yourself into boats, docks, buoys and other water-borne objects), and ponied up the $99,500 asking price, you can take to the nearest body of water and spend the day hovering, sailing, flying, diving and water walking.
I saw a guy piloting the JetLev down the New River this weekend in Fort Lauderdale, and I immediately wanted in. So did the people on the sides of the river who were losing their minds watching this guy. He would hover about 30 feet in the air, race across the water, fly behind other boats… it made jet skis and waverunners look archaic by comparison. Like how it must’ve looked watching the Wright brothers fly past a lumbering blimp.
If the 6-figure entry fee wasn’t so high, I’d be piloting one right now. So let’s hope some water sport rental companies get on board and make them available for an afternoon of water jetting. Or hydro flying. Or whatever ESPN “The Ocho” will call it when it becomes an eventual part of the Summer X Games.