Water-Propelled Jetpack Makes a Splash

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Cue the Mission Impossible or 007 theme songs and don your wetsuit because water-propelled jetpacks are on the market.

Unlike the famous Bell Rocket Belt and the fan-powered Martin Jetpack, the JetLev R200 uses water propulsion to achieve liftoff, enabling double-agents or thrill seekers alike to skim along the water at 22 miles an hour and soar to heights of nearly 30 feet.

Designers at JetLev Technologies have manged to minimize the weight and bulk of the jetpack by shifting the propulsion engine, fuel and related systems to a small, independent 10-foot boat that is tethered to the jet pack by a 33-foot hose. Thrust is generated by forcing water through the hose to nozzles on either side of the jet pack.

This design greatly reduces the thrust-to-weight ratio of the jetpack, which itself weighs around 30 pounds. Compared to Martin's 250-lb jetpack, the light weight JetLev R200 is capable of generating 500 pounds of thrust from its four stroke 250-horse-power engine. However, maximum thrust has been capped at 430 pounds.

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Thrust is controlled by twisting hand grips, while moving the control arms up and down changes the angle of propulsion nozzles. This allows pilots to move forward, in reverse and hover in neutral. By shifting their weight from side-to-side, pilots are able to turn.

Designed for both fresh and salt water, the jetpack is constructed of stainless steel and hard coat anodized aluminum with Teflon coating to protect against corrosion.

The JetLev R200 can accommodate pilots of all shapes and sizes, from 88 to 330 pounds. and 4.9- to 6.5-feet tall.

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Besides the obvious safety feature of the device only being used over water, the jetpack's other safety features include a 5-point quick-release harness, protective backrest and head support and inherent flotation device.

Intended it as a recreational device for holiday resorts, JetLev Technologies is planning to produce 70 units for delivery to target markets between May and July 2011.

If renting one at Club Med cramps your sense of daredevil espionage and foreign intrigue, tycoons anywhere can pick up the 2011 R200 model for a mere $99,500.

Credit: JetLev

[via Gizmag]