Future Gear: Personal Ski Jetpack
Just in time for the 2012-13 ski season, a personal jetpack to zoom you up the slopes as fast as you come down them. OK, that's not true. But check out this video of inventor/aerial stuntman Troy Hartman testing out his personal jetpack at Mammoth.
He designed the thing for use with a "Jet Wing" that will allow him to soar, Yves Rossy-style to new and exciting, Jetsons-era heights. The engines for Hartman's jetpack were designed for much-bigger-than-a-man Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, which means they have twice the thrust of Rossy's wimpy jetpack, and put out 100,000 RPMs, heating up to 1,500° F. Just inches from his (so far) lucky hide. Using the jetpack to fly sounds like a big waste of time, if you ask us. Plenty of people have done that before. But this is the first time we've seen anyone don a jetpack to go skiing. The utility is clear—you could skip liftlines altogether with this thing strapped to your back.
In his test, Hartman says he reached 47 mph at 50% thrust on flat terrain, and going uphill proved easy, even on black diamond runs. It all sounds pretty dangerous, like a Sonny Bono waiting to happen, but at least Hartman was smart enough to refrain from opening up his jetpack's throttle going downhill on a black diamond, and we're pretty sure he avoided the glades.
"For someone to take this thing and put it on their back is ridiculous," Hartman has said. "It is crazy. I'll admit that."