We Finally Have Jet Packs! 7 Jet Packs Through History Woo Hoo!

Yeah we know, we know, it is 2015, where the hell is our jetpack?! Turns out they are right here! What has been dubbed “The World’s Only True Jetpack” made its maiden flight on November 3rd when test pilot David Mayman took the JB-9 out for a spin around the Statue of Liberty.  Let freedom ring with the thunder of two roaring jet engines! AMERICA!!

The JB-9’s creator, JetPack Aviation says that they have created the first “real” jetpack. The company was co-founded by the pilot Mayman and Nelson Tyler, an Academy Award winning areal film camera inventor who was part of the team that a guy fly on a “Rocketbelt” into the 1984 Olympics.

They should have  let this guy do the long jump.

In a recent comment on their YouTube channel the company said in a statement thanking everyone for the encouraging comments and explained why they are calling their new invention the only true, real Jetpack:

“We are sticking by the World’s only JetPack title. When someone else develops a jet engined (not a gasoline powered ducted fan that weighs several hundred of kilos) backpack that the pilot can jog down the road with – then we will change the title. Our R&D plan includes longer endurance but trust me, when you fly at more than 100 mph for 10 minutes + you will know you’re flying the world’s only jetpack. One day we will be in a position to sell them and maybe sooner than people think but we want to make sure we have all the training systems etc right first. JB-9 is amazing but it’s just the start!!”

Here is more footage of the JB-9 ripping around a lake. Boats? Where we’re going we don’t need boats.

The guys at JetPack Aviation say that a JetPack should have a jet turbine engine in a backpack that can take off and land vertically all while being light and small enough to be carried around by the pilot. It looks like they might have some completion, just this past week Jetman Dubai released a video with two Jetpack riders flying next to an Emirates A380.  Technically the two pilots were riding a “jet propelled wing.”

So how did we get to this point, in achieving a real jetpack after decades of failed jet packs? Here are some wins and fails of jetpacks past!

Project Grasshopper Jump Belt, 1958

Garry Burdett and Alexander Bohr from the Thiokol Corporation tested a jump belt called Project Grasshopper, that used cans of propellant to let the wearer “jump” really high. It’s a start!

The Flying Belt, 1958

Nothing says jetpack like a flying “belt.” It can hold up your pants and burn a hole in them! The good folks at Reaction Motors thought they would have a Flying Belt on sale by 1960, sadly the flying belt could only ever fly a few feet and was never for sale.

Bell Rocket Belt Developed For US Army, 1961

Taking after science fiction of the 1920’s, Bell Aerosystems engineer Wendell Moore created the Bell Rocket Belt for the US Military. However it could only fly for a mere 21 seconds using hydrogen peroxide fuel. Now we’re talking.

Bell Rocket Chair 1965

This early JetPack looks a lot more comfortable, since it is more of a flying chair. It was actually a cafeteria chair from the Bell cafeteria. So the next time they serve mystery meat loaf they could just fly out of there.

Bell Pogo Stick, 1965

Bell actually developed this as a possible way for Apollo mission astronauts to travel around the moon, a jet propelled pogo stick! This would have made an amazing toy for 1960’s Christmas presents before wussy parents and child safety regulations could take  such kick ass “dangerous” things away.

R200 Water Powered Jetpack, 2005

Rocket fuel for your Jetpack can burn a hole in your pocket both literally and figuratively.  That’s why, while technically these are not true jetpacks, these water jetpacks are still pretty kick ass.

Martin Jetpack, 2011

Powered by gasoline, and able to fly for 30 minutes, this 200 horsepower, 280 pound contraption is priced at over $100,000. Created by Martin Aircraft, the Jetpack can fly to 5000 feet and even has an emergency parachute to safely bring the pilot back down to the ground and not make a mess.

Break Question Of The Day: Do you dream of flying with a Jetpack, or would you rather wait until the experience is available in virtual reality?

Follow Phil Haney on Twitter @PhilHaney