Outdoor Nevada | Jetpack America
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Outdoor Nevada | Jetpack America

August 15, 2019


♪♪♪It all started with
U.S. Army technology,
and even James Bond
got a taste of it
inThunderball
back in the 60s.
Fast forward 50 years,
and here I am
checking out the updated
version of a jetpack.
Hey, Chris.
-Hey, John. How are you doing?
-Nice seeing you. -Very nice to see you.
Welcome to Jetpack America. -I’ve wanted to do this
ever since I was a kid. I’m so fired up
about this today.Chris Wilson works
as a training manager
with Jetpack America.He’s been riding
these innovative machines
for the past four years,
and he’s my instructor today.
Chris, this is obviously
super-cool and everything, but how did you
get interested in this? (Chris Wilson)
Well, I’ve always been
a water sports guy. I was very
fortunate growing up that my parents threw me
into water sports. My dad got me water
skiing at two years old. He used to pick me up
and drop me in front of his skis so
I could experience it. -And it led to this?
-And it led right to this. -Is this the one
I’m using today? -This is the one
you’ll be flying today. -So how does
this thing work? -It’s really not
new technology, it’s just repurposed
technology, basically using a jet ski
or a modified jet ski unit but still using
jet ski technology, the motor and everything. Instead of shooting the water
out the back of the jet ski for propulsion,
we redirect it through a hose into the pack, and it’s the water flow
that gets you flying. -Incredible. -Now, one cool thing
is a lot of people are worried about
how much pressure is coming out of there. It really doesn’t
run off a high PSI, pressure per square inch. It’ll only do
about 60 PSI, so what’s working it
is just mass water flow. This thing can move 1,000
gallons of water a minute. -How long is the hose
to the jet ski? -The hose is 52 feet long, but this is connecting
to the back of the jet ski and it runs underneath. So you’re losing nine
or ten feet of height, but you can still get
about 40 feet in the air.The first commercially
available jetpack
was released in 2011
and cost nearly $100,000.
Today everyone
can enjoy the ride
at places like
Jetpack America
and feel a little 007.What other sport would
you compare this to? -It’s a little different
than anything. The best comparison
I would say is it’s taking a little
scuba diving, jet skiing and sky diving and
combining it into one. So a little bit different
but similar feelings there. -Are there age and
weight restrictions? -There are somewhat. To fly like you’re flying
today by yourself, you have to be
at least 16 years old. However, on the other
side of it, we’ve flown a guy at 85,
a woman at 79, and we’ve flown
paraplegics and amputees. So as long as you’re
within those ages, pretty much
anybody can fly. Now, one of
the beautiful things is we’re about to launch
our tandem pack. We’re going to have
one of our instructors basically strap
a kid on in front of us and take them for
the experience as well. That opens it up to kids
as young as five. If we get you in the pack,
we can get you flying. We have about
a 95% success rate of getting first-timers
flying in the air and having a great time. -Let’s see if we can get
the rate a little higher. -There we go. -Tell me about the lake
that we’re going into. -This lake here
at our newest location is about 12 feet deep. The calmer the water is,
the better water flow you’re going to get
from a jet ski. If it gets really windy
and starts whitecapping and that jet ski starts
bobbing up and down, it’s going to cause
a little cavitation, which is air coming
through instead of water, and with that you’re
going to lose propulsion and it’ll vibrate you
a little bit.A hydro jetpack works
above and under the water
and is mainly controlled
by the person wearing it.
It can also be operated
by someone on a jet ski
or from the shore.♪♪♪I get some good height
and great views.
It feels like something
out of Hollywood.
It’s a 95% success rate,
and I just went. Did the rate go
up or down? -It went up. That was awesome,
you did great. -If you’re thinking about
doing something different, I highly recommend it. Chris, you’re awesome.
Thanks a lot. -Thanks for coming out.
We appreciate it. -I’m going to go get dry.
Here, take this. Riding a jetpack
is one of the wildest
experiences
I’ve ever had.
Now I want to see
what Chris can do.
♪♪♪

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