By Evan Ackerman
The big reason why it’s not the future and you don’t have a jetpack is fuel. Jetpacks are necessarily a compromise between the amount of fuel they can carry and the amount of weight they can lift, and so far the best you’ve been able to expect is 10 or 20 minutes of flying time. So if somehow you could get the fuel off of the jetpack, you’d be good to go… And that’s what the JetLev does.
The JetLev is a jetpack that’s powered by water. It doesn’t carry the water with it; rather, it’s got a 140 foot long flexible tube attached to a little boat that you drag along behind you. The boat has a 4 stroke 115 hp engine in it that pumps water up into the jetpack at 100 psi, and when that water comes shooting down out of the two nozzles at the sides, it puts out enough force to lift a person up to 50 feet in the air at speeds of 50 mph. Since you’ve got about 326 million trillion gallons of propellant at your disposal (and it recycles!), the only limit to the range and endurance of the JetLev is the gas in the motor boat pod thingy, which currently gives a range of nearly 200 miles.
There are downsides to being restricted to water, but upsides as well… Namely, if anything goes wrong, you’re no more than 50 feet away from a splash landing. The JetLev is reportedly a cinch to operate, and it costs about $128,000.