Tue, Nov 25, 2008
Propels Man 1,500 Feet Across Arkansas River
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 seconds.
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 a little
12:00 pm MST on Monday, it was long enough to propel pilot Eric
Scott 1,500 feet across Colorado's Royal Gorge near Cañon
"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."
The Denver Post reports 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 demo flights.
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.
Still, the pilot admitted to feeling quite nervous before his
flight. "You can't help it. When you're standing in front of
certain death. If it goes wrong, you have some concerns, but you
got to stick that on the back shelf."
Scott made those comments moments after his flight. We'd guess
his feet still haven't touched the ground!
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