In Detail: More On The Jetlev R200

Much of the reaction to TRANSLOGIC 62: Jetlev R200 has gone something like "OMG MUST HAVE! Oh, wait, it costs $100K..." True, the cost to own a recreational water jet pack may be prohibitive, but that doesn't mean you'll never get the chance to pilot one. According to Jetlev, the experience of flying an R200 won't be exclusive to the rich and famous. The idea is to make Jetlev flights more widely available via rental agencies located at vacation destinations around the world, with an aim to start offering flights in Florida sometime this year. It's hard to imagine what Jetlev personal flight might feel like, but, as exciting as it would be to experience, you have to admit you'd be a little freaked out. After all, you'd be thrust up to 30 feet above the surface of the water, tethered to a 650 lbs, 200 hp supply vessel. You might imagine the slightest loss of equilibrium sending you spiraling out of control, but fear not. The R200 has what Jetlev calls "inherrant stability."

"The rider's and jetpack's center of gravity are well below the thrust planes of the nozzles which ensure fore-aft (pitch) and side-to-side (roll) stability," claims the Jetlev website.

What about the water jets themselves? Those look like they could cause some serious damage; however, the jets actually operate at relatively low pressures of up to 60 psi--nowhere near the roughly 2500 psi operating power that of the industrial pressure washer you might use the clean vinyl siding. Jetlev does warn to keep hands and arms clear of the spray, but incidental contact isn't likely to cause serious injury.

In fact, the flow-rate of the water streams produced by the R200 act as a risk limiter in the sense that, once you reach about 30 feet, the thrust won't carry you any higher. That, coupled with the 33 ft supply hose length will keep you from accidentally blasting off into the stratosphere. And, if you were to fall to the water from 30 ft high, Jetlev notes that you would be entering the water at speeds of less than 30 mph. That's about equal to a 10 meter Olympic platform dive--indubitably perilous, but not certain doom.

Obviously, proper training, physical ability and practice are needed to safely pilot the R200. But, if given the chance, it would be an experience hard to pass up.

Click the image below to watch TRANSLOGIC 62: Jetlev R200:

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