Aviation History is set to be made in Monaco this weekend as David Mayman, CEO and Test Pilot at JetPack Aviation, is set to make three public flights using the JB-10, a fully working jetpack. These flights will mark the first time a jetpack has successfully flown in Europe.
While the dream of a safe consumer jetpack is a long way off, there are two companies currently in a race to market for commercial packs. Flyboard Air, fronted by Frenchman Franky Zapata and David Mayman’s JetPack Aviation.
Flyboard Air currently holds the records for, autonomous flight up to 10,000 feet, top speed (93.2 mph) and 10 minutes of autonomous flight. But, JetPack Aviation was able to demonstrate their JB-9 jetpack by pirouetting around the Statue of Liberty 6 months ahead of Flyboard’s first working demonstration of its prototype.
David Mayman insists that “JetPack Aviation has proved that personal flight is a reality, it is here now, and our company will stay at the forefront of this exciting new industry”.
The latest version of JetPack Aviation pack is the JB-10. This was engineered by Nelson Tyler, JetPack Aviation lead designer. It is set to improve the performance of the JB-9; which had a range of 19.8km (at 90kph) and could fly for 13.2 minutes.
While the performance is impressive, there are numerous hurdles the company must overcome if the dream of a personal jetpack is to become a reality.
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The company is actively looking at ways to make jetpacks safer with plans to create an automatic ballistic parachute (which it is said to be developing with help from the US military) that could fire when the onboard computers detect an engine failure. Until this is implemented the company will only demonstrate the jetpack over water.
The company is also looking at developing a tethered electric model that could be used for training. This would allow users to be airborne for longer as they would not need to constantly land to refuel.
Finally, Jetpack Aviation has said that it has been working with FAA in the USA to define a new classification for the jetpack which could mean a jetpack becoming commercially available in the near future.
JetPack Aviation showcase events will take place on:
Thursday, September 29 at 5:00pm – at the heliport at Océanograpique Museum.
Friday, September 30 at 5:00pm – at the heliport alongside the Port of Fontvieille.
Saturday, October 1 at 5:00pm – taking off from the Fontvieille heliport and landing on a yacht.