MS Watersports Gmbh out of Germany is now selling the JetLev-Flyer, a water propelled jet pack. The design looks both novel and simple. Based on a video from the company’s website, it appears the JetLev-Flyer works as follows:
- The rider/pilot straps on a jet pack.
- The jet pack is connected to a hose that runs to a float about the size of a personal watercraft that sits in the water.
- The float follows the rider around. The float has a four stroke engine that pumps water up the hose to the jet pack and is shot out of the jet nozzles in the pack. The force of the water shooting out of the jet pack lifts the rider up. The rider can maneuver by controlling the direction and force of the jet.
According to their website, the rider can fly to an altitude of about 50 feet (15 meters). It looks like altitude is primarily limited by the length of the hose. Since the rider is (1) tethered to the float and (2) over water, it looks less life threatening than other jet pack concepts. Also, since the power plant and gas tank are on a float, they can be made fairly large, giving the jet pack plenty of power and range. JetLev claims that the pack can move at up to 45 mph (75 kmh) and has a range of 186 miles (300 km).
The restrictive flight of the JetLev-Flyer make it primarily a recreational product. Although, there may be some life guards or water patrol officers that can compose an argument that the JetLEv-Flyer is a vital addition to their fleet.
The current asking price for the ability to fly around your local lake is $128,000. But in wide scale production, perhaps this price could be brought down to something closer to the cost of a personal watercraft. From the videos, it looks like it could use some tweaking. For example, it looks like the current hose and float design inhibit maneuverability. With some innovation and more mass production pricing this may have potential as a recreational product. But in the short run, with even beach wear sales down, it may be a while before many of these $128,000 flying treats make it out to the local lakes.