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Jetpack Flight Made From Denver Hotel Roof

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Harking back to the 1930s when downtown rooftops became runways as major newspapers flew autogyros from the tops of their buildings, Nick Macomber, in partnership with the Smithsonian Channel, made a 30-second jetpack flight from the roof of the Four Seasons Hotel in Denver, Colo. Dubbed the “Go Fast Jet Pack,” Macomber’s Thursday sunrise flight was just long enough to circle the building and land back on the roof—endurance of most jetpacks is less than a minute due to high fuel consumption and lack of ability to carry much fuel. The Smithsonian Channel is filming a one-hour documentary that explores the past, present and future of jetpacks on land, in space and over water.

Jet Pack International makes two versions of its hydrogen peroxide rocket-powered aircraft, one with a 23-second endurance and one with a 33-second endurance. Pilot Nick Macomber flew the larger one to briefly carry the Olympic flame during the torch relay for the 2012 Olympics. While correctly referred to as rockets, as they carry their own oxidizer, the jetpack name has stuck since they first flew in the late 1950s. Research has been ongoing to find ways to reduce the heat of the exhaust, increase endurance and diminish the risk to the pilot. The Denver flight was a publicity event for the manufacturer and the Smithsonian Channel.

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