Engineers Perfect the Water-Powered Jetpack

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Engineers are salivating over the latest sports engineering breakthrough—a water-powered jetpack.

Many engineers told inventor Raymond Li that it would be impossible to manage the water’s mass and thrust to keep it stable in the air. So, instead of mounting the engine and water pump on the operator's back, Li attached a hose to the pack and left the engine and water pump floating in the water down below. This drastically reduced the weight and the amount of thrust needed to stay airborne. The stiff hose filled with heavy, pressurized water added drag to stabilize the jetpack for better flight control.

After four prototypes and more than 200 flight tests, the Jetlev-Flyer is ready for production. Scheduled to hit the market this summer, this bad boy creates about 500 pounds of thrust to propel you 30 feet above the water and zip you along at a heady 35 mph. The new water "thrill toy" is drawing considerable attention online.

The Jetlev features a lightweight carbon fiber backback, a 10-meter hose and an engine unit that floats in the water. The engine draws water through the hose and forces it through two nozzles on the backpack. Controlled with a throttle on the handgrip, Jetlev can provide up to two hours of continuous flight.

A decade in the making, the Jetlev is currently manufactured by German-based MS Watersports GmbH. At about $136,000 per unit, Jetlevs are not expected to be as ubiquitous as jetskiis. But a number of resorts and charter yacht companies have taken a liking to the Jetlev. Expect to see it at the Dubai International Boat Show in March.

For an additional perspective, check out this video:

Alex A. Kecskes has written hundreds of published articles on health/fitness, "green" issues, TV/film entertainment, restaurant reviews and many other topics. As a former Andy/Belding/One Show ad agency copywriter, he also writes web content, ads, brochures, sales letters, mailers and scripts for national B2B and B2C clients. Please see more of his blogs and view additional job postings on Nexxt.


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