The U.S.’s newest military aircraft export fits into a couple of standard Pelican cases and can put a soldier into the action at a top speed of a 120 mph. Jetpack Aviation has announced it has sold two copies of the military version of its JB11 jetpack to an undisclosed country in Southeast Asia. “The ratification of this deal demonstrates that the JB12 JetPack provides defense forces with exceptional aerial capabilities to fulfill a wide array of mission requirements,” said company CEO David Mayman. “This order represents a significant step forward for us as it confirms that our development program is meeting military needs.”
The deal is worth about $800,000 but it raises the spectre of a novel capability for ground forces. The specs of the JB12 are classified but they’re expected to be similar to those of the civilian JB11. It’s a true jetpack with six little turbojets that each deliver 88 pounds of thrust. They are controlled by a flight management computer that points them in right direction to hover, shift laterally or sprint through the air. The whole system weighs about 105 pounds and will keep the pilot airborne for about eight minutes.
The company is also working on the prototype of a “flying motorcycle” it calls the Speeder. Rather than wearing the aircraft, the pilot rides it like a motorcycle and it too can hover, climb and dart at high speed. It looks like a cross between a snowmobile and a hovercraft and comes with removable wings that can be clipped on to provide aerodynamic lift that extends flight time to about an hour.