US Military Soaring With JetPacks
Pentagon's DARPA Seeking JetPack PrototypesSource: Carbon Fiber JetPack Wing
Portable Personal Mobility Vehicles
The US Pentagon's DARPA, or Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, wants to equip the US military with highly advanced and reliable flying jetpacks, also known as portable personal air mobility systems. They have invited companies to send their prototypes for jetpacks and other unique, personal, portable flying technologies for development.
Technologies of Interest
DARPA's level of interest for new forms of personal air mobility is fascinating. Beside jetpacks, technologies of interest include powered wing suits, powered gliders and powered parafoils which, according to DARPA, "can leverage emerging electric propulsion technologies, hydrogen cells or conventional heavy fuel propulsion systems."
No Pilots License Required
DARPA wants these vehicles to be extremely easy to operate. Additionally, they should require very little training and no pilots license should be needed. The DARPA R&D program is on the fast track with prototype proposals due on April 20th, 2021. The technology will be used for a wide variety of missions, including search and rescue, urban combat and for special forces on the battlefield. Two major players in jetpacks - the UK's Gravity Industries and California's JetPack Aviation are expected to participate. And, these new modes of personal mobility are under development for civilians as well.