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Mon, Mar 04, 2024

Gravity Industries Jet Suits Raced for 1st Time

High-Flying Humanoids Head Up Hyped Highrise Series

Gravity Industries' powered jetpack/jacket got to kick off its first race in the 2024 series, starting off in Dubai with a 7-man stack. 

The race garnered headlines around the world promising a eye-popping sprint of jetpack-equipped racers bobbing and weaving in between high-altitude skyscrapers, but the ultimate result was understandably tamer. Racers operated over a nearby river, still making the most of Dubai's skyline, but far from the images of thrilling death-tempting jetpackin' expected by the uninitiated. 

It's good advertising for Gravity's product, which straddles the lines between a tourism spot and a bespoke vehicle manufacturer. Gravity's thruster backpack and hand engines combine to provide the kind of mobility imagined by sci-fi 'jetpacks', referred to in company press as a 'jet suit' today, though custom 'jackets' can be purchased for something north of £380,000 in the UK. Each of the racers sported one of these 1,500-hp suits in the first race of the series, with more to come as they duel across "rivers, lakes, harbors, and seafronts" around the world. 

Currently, it has escaped widespread notice in the public eye, despite the future-forward styling of the series. In that respect, it seems reminiscent of a similarly modern series of "flying car" races run by Airspeeder. They're quite alike, both carrying that unsteady, tottering feel of a fresh sport still getting acquainted with the very concepts involved at a basic level - Jetsuit pilots seem like they're getting there, but they lack the same ease of motion seen in lifelong athletes that have been honing their techniques for decades by the time they get to the podium. In the case of Gravity's first winners, they haven't been able to achieve that level of comfort just yet: The jetsuits have scarcely been around for a handful of years, much less been available to toil away in practicing day after day. The result was a somewhat underwhelming race to those wanting balls-to-the-wall action out the gate, but a promising concept to those who can look past the current state to what it could one day be.

FMI: www.gravity.co

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