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Wasser von Braun

Old Wernher the rocket scientist, if he were alive, would want one of these babies on holiday. It's a water-powered jet pack conceived in Canada by JetLev and licensed to German company MS Watersports GmbH, and it appears to address at least two major problems of jet packs: If the engine quits, you...

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Old Wernher the rocket scientist, if he were alive, would want one of these babies on holiday. It's a water-powered jet pack conceived in Canada by JetLev and licensed to German company MS Watersports GmbH, and it appears to address at least two major problems of jet packs: If the engine quits, you fall into water—notice that most of these guys aren't even wearing a helmet—and it keeps foolish humans from going any higher than about 28 feet before the yellow feeder tube comes out of the lake, interrupting the water source. That tube would, theoretically, keep those same humans from flying over land, but that doesn't mean someone someday won't cross the beach and become a flying grocery cart.

The military might not find much use for it in Afghanistan, so don't expect to see any units tested at Edwards Air Force Base in the California desert. But the company hopes later versions will lift a thousand pounds, and could offer beach patrol, search-and-rescue, bridge inspection/maintenance, harbor security, and maybe even anti-piracy missions.

For now, rich thrill seekers will play with it. The company plans to make it available before the end of September for only 99,000 Euros. To convert to dollars, tack on another thirty grand.

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