Jet packs -- that is, real ones -- generally suffer from very
short endurance. The longest flight of the original Bell rocket
belt was just 26 seconds. A newer, lighter, carbon-fiber design
using hydrogen peroxide rockets, has upped that record to 33
Yeah, we know, that doesn't seem like a real great
improvement... but it was long enough to stage a spectacular
demonstration last year on Monday Night Football. And just a few
months ago, it was long enough to propel pilot Eric Scott 1,500
feet across Colorado's Royal Gorge near Cañon City.
"This is a new jet pack record," Scott told KOAA-5 after landing
on-target, despite a last-minute crosswind gust. "The height, 1,053
feet off the floor. 1500 feet across. That is a world record."
Scott works for Denver-based Jet P.I. Unlike Bell's rocket belt,
which was developed with military applications in mind, the Jet PI
jetpack is designed specifically for use in publicity stunts and
Scott obviously had great confidence in the machine -- he flew
without a parachute. The Royal Gorge drops more than 1,100 feet
down to the Arkansas River.
The “Go Fast Jet Pack” has been the vision of Troy
Widgery since his childhood memories of James Bond in
“Thunderball.” Through his pursuit of speed starting at
the age of four racing quarter-midget cars, through his many years
as a world-class competitive skydiver, to his current interest in
the most extreme of sports, B.A.S.E. jumping; Troy has always had a
vision of building a spectacular flying machine – similar to
that which James Bond flew on the big screen.
In June 2003 Troy invited two friends, John Hewatt and Dave
Butler, to brainstorm on what most people would see as an
unobtainable project for the average person – to build a jet
pack from scratch. Troy and John formed the company “Jet P.I.
LLC” to manage the research, development, construction and
future flights of what was going to be the “Go Fast Jet
The goal of “Jet PI” was to build a lighter, faster,
more economical and longer-flying jet pack than the original built
by Bell Aerosystems in the 1960’s, and the successors, which
have been based on that model. With incredible passion,
determination and an extreme amount of work, combined with modern
technologies, materials and engineering, Jet PI is intent on
developing the world's most advanced personal flying machines.