Loz Blain January 13th, 2017
6 pictures http://bit.ly/2jiFHiG
Jetpack Aviation CEO David Mayman with the older model JB-9 jetpack(Credit: Loz Blain/New Atlas)
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Things are developing fairly quickly in the world of Jetpack Aviation. After a bunch of public flights in Europe, the team has announced it's selected its first guinea pig civilian test pilot, who will be trained up and given the chance to fly the extraordinary JB-10 jetpack.
As we reported in November, Jetpack Aviation is ready to start taking customer orders for its extraordinary JB-series jetpacks, which fly for between five and ten minutes and can rise at a rate of up to 1,000 feet a minute.
But according to CEO David Mayman, who's also the only guy to have ever flown this thing as yet, a key part of the sales process will be training customers in how to fly safely. And before any customer orders went out, the company ran a competition to find a guinea pig to test the training process.
The results are in: the world's first "civilian" jetpack pilot will be Mischa Pollack, a video blogger best known for his "drunk tech" series. Pollack will learn the ropes at Jetpack Aviation's tethered training facility in Southern California. It's unclear at this stage whether he'll be flying drunk.
In other news, Mayman and the team are preparing to undertake their first over-ground jetpack flights, and work will begin soon on an all-electric jetpack using ducted fans, that will allow the team to train new pilots without running up hours on sensitive jet engines or burning a gallon of kerosene every minute. As it's only for training, it'll be tethered with a power cable, so there won't be any onboard batteries.
There's a lot more fun stuff to come from this fascinating company as it develops, but for the moment you should check out our original article on the JB-9 jetpack where we break down how it works and how to fly it.