Business Technology

Travel with jet packs designed by an Academy Award winner

4 min read

06 October 2016

Former deputy editor

As technologies seen in sci-fi films become reality, US firm JetPack Aviation plans to launch the world’s first jet packs for public use in 2017, which will be aided with a £300,000 crowdfunding campaign running on Seedrs.

If you’re planning on getting your hands on a driverless car, you may want to rethink and invest your money in what are set to be hot commodities next year – jet packs.

JetPack Aviation is the brand with the ambition vision to take the power of flight to the masses with its JB-10 JetPack, which has been a work in progress for the past ten years.

The business was launched by CEO David Mayman and chief designer Nelson Tyler, the latter of whom has developed products for 55 years, which has resulted on him winning three Academy Awards for Technical Achievement.

The hard work over the decade seems as though it is about to pay off though, as the pair insist the design is “not just a gimmick but has a solid technological and scientific background behind it”. Indeed, Mayman and Tyler’s team comprises specialists proficient in turbine engine design as well as electrical and computer engineers.

In addition to the JB-10, JetPack Aviation has also designed a vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) personal aircraft. In order to continue development and push forward with a jet pack launch in 2017, the company has launched a campaign on UK crowdfunding platform Seedrs to raise £300,000.

Should the raise prove to be a success, the funding will enable additional research and development of the products. Mayman, an aviation specialist, has previously demonstrated use of the JB-10 with flights in areas such as New York, but more recently flew across the Royal Victoria Dock in London on 5 October to highlight the Seedrs round.

“A lot of us spent time in our youth fantasising about what it would be like to follow Buck Rogers up into the air with our very own jetpacks,” said Mayman.

“We are getting a lot closer to launching a commercial product but there is still much further that we can take our design and ideas, so we want to give the crowdfunding community a once in a lifetime opportunity to invest in turning a dream into reality.”

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The JB-10 jet packs may also be used in battle, as the company is in talks with the US military on deployment in the field. One such example given may see the gadget used for extracting soldiers from behind enemy lines. Elsewhere, an R&D agreement with the US Special Operations Command could see production of a jet pack with four turbines, capable of lifting some 700lbs.

But on the public use case front, JetPack Aviation is also in talks to introduce jet pack races with a large sports marketing firm that has remained undisclosed. This could result in “JetPack Top Gun” experience centres being created globally.

Jeff Lynn, CEO and co-founder of Seedrs, said: “Flying to work with a jetpack strapped to your back may be everyone’s favourite science fiction fantasy alongside teleportation and personal space travel, but this is a serious scientific invention that could have huge implications for the aviation sector.

“This funding round is a chance for everyone to get on board with further development of the JB-10 and we are so excited to welcome David Mayman and JetPack Aviation onto Seedrs.”

It’s not the first time we’ve seen jet packs on sale, of course – a marine tech firm called on people to unleash their inner superhero with a £1,400 underwater jet pack.