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Water-powered Jetlev jetpack to debut in March

by Kelly MacNeil on February 4, 2011

A new water-propelled jetpack, better known as the Jetlev, is set to debut this March, finalizing Canadian inventor Raymond Li's arduous 10-year creation process.

"Almost everyone thought I was crazy. It was hard to get quotations for prototype fabrication, raising capital, finding development partners and suitable venues to do the testing," Li told Business Review USA.

According to CNN.com, the Jetlev is powered by a carbon fiber backpack, a 10-meter hose and a floating engine unit. The engine sucks the water through the hose and forces it through the backpack at high pressure, which can create up to 500 pounds of thrust.

Business Review USA reports that this thrust to weight ratio is three times greater than the most powerful fighter jets.

"It's the same reaction force a firefighter experiences when he points a water jet at a fire," Li told the news source.

The pilot can adjust speed as well as height, with a maximum velocity of 22 miles per hour and a maximum height of 30 feet above the water.

The Jetlev made its first appearance at January's Dusseldorf Boat Show and is scheduled to be featured at the Dubai International Boat Show in March, the news source reports.

Head of marketing at MS Watersports GmbH Alexander Theis told the news outlet that the Jetlev has caught the attention of buyers in the Middle East, Russia and Portugal. Resorts and yacht companies may also soon be able to lease the $136,000 machines.

Li envisions that the Jetlev will have more far-reaching applications as well, including search and rescue missions, peacekeeping and firefighting, according to Business Review USA.

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