We have previously covered how the US Marines have been testing out jetpacks in drills. However, a Southeast Asia country has likely beat them to the adoption of these jetpacks. According to The Drive, JetPack Aviation has secured its first sale and the order has been placed by a mystery Southeast Asia country.
Jetpacks are the ultimate flying experience one can have. These flying machines have titillated flying enthusiasts for many years but their high costs and limited range have largely kept them out of purchase decisions. This is true, even for the military, who see a futuristic application, have toyed with the idea but not committed to buying them for on-field operations. Until now, of course.
San Fernando-based JetPack Aviation (JPA) was founded in 2016 but its team of engineers has been toiling with the concept of their jetpack for a decade now. Their hard work led to, as the company claims, the first 'man' portable turbine-powered jetpack, the JB9 that was showcased near the Statue of Liberty in 2015.
Over the next few years, the company has created the updated versions of its jetpacks, JB10 and JB11. Capable of operating at up to 15,000 feet (4572 m), both these jetpack models can be powered by kerosene or diesel and can reach up to 120 mph (193 kph).
While details of the order are not announced yet, The Drive reported that it involved the sale of two JB12 jetpacks with an order value of $800,000. JPA has not released any information about these packs but works separately for commercial and military orders. Like the JB11, the JB12 is also powered by six turbojet engines, each producing 90 pounds (40 kg) of thrust, the report said.
Aside from the jetpacks, the company also manufactures Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) aircraft called the Speeder. With an endurance of up to 30 minutes, the small footprint VTOL complements the jetpacks and allows their integration, the company claims. Available for commercial use as well, Speeders have a payload capacity of up to 600 pounds (272 kg), can be refueled quickly, and also driven autonomously, with abilities of obstacle detection and collision avoidance, the company says on its website.