WASHINGTON - If you're ready to strap on a jetpack and fly, you can finally do it not far from home.
A new company called Relentless Watersports started offering water-propelled jetpack flights in Fenwick Island, Del. about a month ago.
The jetpack is called the JETLEV R200.
It's basically a backpack attached by a very large and very long tube to what looks like a jetski that floats on water. An engine sends water up the tube, into the pack and down your back to form two giant water jets.
"It actually only pumps the water at the same pressure as a garden hose, about 65 PSI, however it's the volume of water, that 1,000 gallons of water per minute that actually creates a couple hundred pounds of thrust and gives the customer the ability to get off the water," says Nicholas Strong, marketing director for Relentless Watersports.
Strong says if you'd like to try it, rest assured you'll get help from a flight instructor.
"What we do is we get the customer in the water and they're in complete control of up and down, left and right, all types of steering. However, they're equipped with a helmet that has built-in headphones and one of our licensed flight instructors is wearing a headset, so the entire time the customer is flying they're in communication. The licensed flight instructor actually has an airplane-grade remote control that they (use to) control the throttle," he says.
Strong says in terms of customers, the company is doing very well. When there's downtime, one of the members of the company will strap on the jetpack and fly it near waterfront restaurants.
"We're getting a lot of people interested ... not only in flying it, but in wanting to watch us. People are calling us all the time asking where we're going to be, and where can they spectate from."
Relentless Watersports charges about $200 for a 20-minute introductory flight, and $400 for a 40-minute experience that includes more advanced maneuvers. Frequent fliers can get discounts.
Strong says he made his first flight about the time Relentless Watersports opened to the public, and the experience is hard to describe.
"It's the most surreal feeling in the entire world," he says.
Check out the jetpack in action in Fenwick Island, in this YouTube video:
Here's the manufacturer's promotional video:
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