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Watch This Man Fly a Real Jet Pack

This is legit.

Human jetpacks as a sign of the future have been a part of popular imagination for nearly a century, and are as much of a mainstay in science fiction as flying cars and Mars colonies. From The Rocketeer to George Jetson, people have marveled at the possibility of personal flight machines, but the concept has always seemed as distant and dangerous as the flight of Icarus.

Though “water jetpacks” have become a popular recreational activity at waterfront resorts, they don’t allow for much more than simple levitation a few feet above the water’s surface for levitation purposes. Meanwhile, techies everywhere have been trying to make their dream of real human flight come true. 

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This video, taken at at the 2022 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago, shows the impressively controlled, if low-altitude, hopping, flight of a man in a jet pack. Most of the lift seems to come from the part of the machinery on his back, while he controls his flight with smaller jets strapped to his arms, Iron Man-style.

As a prototype, it’s quite impressive, though one wonders, with all this machinery, what the person wearing this Jet Suit can do other than concentrate on their flight.

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The pilot is Richard Browning, founder and test pilot for Gravity Industries, which has been working on the project since 2016. With a family background in the aeronautical industry and a stint in the Royal Marines, Browning’s vision quickly became a reality, with over a hundred test flights as proof that though we’re not at Jetsons stage yet, we’re, uh, hopping ever closer. 

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