Jetpack racing will soon be a thing. After 12 months test flying to determine whether its jetpacks can be flown safely in close proximity to each other, JetPack Aviation (JPA) has announced the launch of its racing league for 2019.
In a video released last week, JetPack Aviation had two of its pilots fly together in formation. It’s the first time in history two jetpacks have flown together.
“We are all really excited about this, it is the first time in history that two jetpacks have flown together, we’ve done a huge amount of testing and now it’s time to get racing,” JPA CEO and chief pilot David Mayman said in a press release.
JPA will invite qualified teams to participate in trials during 2019. The JPA jetpacks used in the racing league are capable of flying at over 200 mph, according to the company.
“We are also in discussions with inventors of other VTOL aircraft to determine whether their aircraft are appropriate for the league,” said Mayman. “We love turbine VTOL technology and want to see the league become a place where other companies can also demonstrate their contribution to the future of transportation.”
Mayman told New Atlas that the races would “initially be held over water for safety’s sake, with a plan to go over land within a couple of years.”
Teams will need at least three jetpacks – or similar devices – to participate in the racing league, said Mayman. They will need to either buy or lease the equipment from JPA if they don’t have their own gear. JPA in that case would provide pilot training and maintenance of the jetpacks.
JPA expects the sport of jetpack racing to grow rapidly.
“It’s possible for trained and skilled pilots to fly within inches of each other while doing incredible speeds,” said JPA Operations Manager and JetPack pilot Boris Jarry. “It’s an extraordinary thrill for the pilot and the audience will love the sight and sound – we sound like a group of fighter jets going past.”