General, Research, Technology

What jetpacks can be used for military purposes?

The jetpack is an aircraft in the form ofa backpack that is worn on the back and allows people to move through the air due to the liquid or gas escaping from the nozzle. At the moment, most of these devices are created by amateur engineers and are used during entertainment performances. Recently, the American agency DARPA wondered if jetpacks could somehow be used for military purposes. After all, they can certainly be useful for reconnaissance and other tasks that require special secrecy. The agency launched a competition to develop a military jetpack and made very serious demands. Within the framework of this article, I propose to find out what an ideal jetpack should be like and whether it exists in reality. Spoiler alert: yes, a military-grade backpack has already been created and is even being used.

Jetpacks are hardly used in the military industry yet, but that will soon change.

What is a jetpack?

Jetpacks are also known as jetpacks.Almost all of them are made in the form of a backpack with several jet engines in a compact size. For control, two knobs are usually used, which change the direction of the nozzles from which the expanding gas or liquid escapes. Typically, you can fly with a jetpack for only 10 minutes, but the speed is 200 kilometers per hour. After the flight, the backpack needs to be refueled again, which takes a lot of time. In addition, pilots need to carry a supply of fuel to be always ready to fly. In general, at the moment jetpacks are an unusual, but far from the most convenient way of getting around.

Jetpacks are developed by amateurs, so they look very different. But in general, the principle of their work is the same.

Interesting fact: if you want to fly a jetpack, it's worthtry the entertaining Jetlev. It is just positioned as a projectile for outdoor activities. It does not emit jet streams because it runs on water. It is released under great pressure from the nozzles and pushes the person up. Such a device can only be flown above water to a height of no more than 15 meters.

If jetpacks were created long ago, wars could look something like this

A very important parameter of military jetpacks isstealth. And this is not only about the low noise level. Enemy aircraft are usually easily detected by radars, so the backpack should remain invisible to them. This is an especially important parameter because jetpacks cannot protect pilots from enemy weapons. Therefore, no matter how powerful and convenient a jetpack is, if it is noisy and easily detected by radars, DARPA is unlikely to like it. However, if a company manages to create a jetpack that meets all the requirements, DARPA can begin mass production and supply it to various troops.

See also: There was the first-ever fatal fall with a jetpack

Jetpack JB-11

At the moment, the only militaryThe unit that ordered the delivery of the jetpacks is the Special Operations Forces. In 2016, the command signed a contract with the aircraft manufacturer JetPack Aviation for the supply of jetpacks of the JB-11 model. They are equipped with six jet engines and can stay aloft for about 10 minutes - enough to cover about 30 kilometers. The speed of this jetpack reaches 320 kilometers per hour, and the maximum flight altitude reaches 4.5 kilometers. This jetpack was presented at the CES 2018 technology exhibition and was reported by the BBC.

Jetpack flight JB-11

Perhaps at the moment the jetpack JB-11from JetPack Aviation is the only one that is suitable for military use. Above, I have already noted that most jetpacks are made by amateur engineers. Take, for example, a jetpack from American inventor Richard Browning. In 2018, it cost 340 thousand pounds, which at the current exchange rate is about 35 million (!) Rubles. The developed "iron man suit" looks impressive and the inventor surprised many times with his flights. Here is a short article about Richard Browning's amazing project.

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Another famous test pilot isFrankie Zapata. He is the inventor of the Flyboard Air, which works in much the same way as jetpacks. In 2019, the pilot decided to use this aircraft to cross the English Channel from France to Great Britain. I talked about his venture in this article. Enjoy reading!