The Jetlev Flyer is a fantastically strange vehicle, and for all the right reasons.
The Jetlev Flyer was developed by Raymond Li, based in Newfoundland, Canada. The concept has been in development since 2000, but the first manned-flight didn't take place until 2005. Since then the Jetlev Flyer has developed into a commercially available vehicle which has undergone hundreds of hours of test flights, in the hands of over 30 test pilots.
Since 2008, Jetlev Sports Inc. of Florida have been licensed to produce the Jetlev Flyer, and in 2009 MS Watersports GmbH in Germany joined the party and helped co-develop the production model. Between the two companies, the Jetlev Flyer is for sale in markets all across the world.
The Jetlev Flyer is unlike other jetpacks in that it uses waterjet power, instead of gas jets to provide thrust. Also, because the Jetlev Flyer has all the heavy items, like the propulsion engine, fuel and related systems on a separate vessel tethered behind the jetpack, the overall weight of the bit in the air is significantly reduced.
The Jetlev Flyer can be used in fresh water or sea water, using it over land is out of the question due to the massive amounts of water its jets blast out every second.
Obviously that means every commuter's dream of jetpacking across a crowded city is impossible - unless you live in Venice - but as a recreational vehicle it beats anything on water.
When designing the Jetlev Flyer, the engineers focused on making it both safe and easy to fly. By restricting the hose length they imposed a relatively low flight ceiling of 33 ft (10m), and thanks to the jetpack's 5-point quick-release harness, protective back rest and head support, safety saddle and inherent floatation, it's not a case of sinking like a rock when you're in the water!
According to the makers, the Jetlev Flyer is so easy to fly that after just a few minutes of training new pilots are ready to take to the air.
Top speed of the Jetlev Flyer is around 22 mph, with a duration of 2-3 hours at cruising speed, or 1 hour if you want to keep the throttle at wide open.
The Jetlev Flyer is available in a 250 horsepower, carbon-fiber construction model, or a 220 horsepower fiberglass construction model. It doesn't come cheap though. Prices range from $122,000 (€ 84,900) to $185,000 (€ 129,000). Although it's difficult to imagine any other vehicle, be it a supercar or superyacht, that'll get more attention down at the beach.