JetPack Aviation to supply pilot training to military customer


California, USA-based JetPack Aviation is to provide pilot and maintainer training to a military customer in Southeast Asia, the first time such training has been delivered to serving military personnel.

JetPack Aviation (JPA) announced it had sold two of its JB12 jet packs to an unspecified military customer in Southeast Asia last September for US$800,000. Following that, the customer has contracted JetPack Aviation to train two pilots and two maintenance technicians at the company’s Californian base, with future options to teach additional personnel, including an instructor.

The student pilots, who JetPack Aviation say are experienced military personnel but without flying experience, will initially receive on-tether instruction before moving to off-tether operations for advanced training this summer. The syllabus they will follow has been approved by the FAA-approved and created by JPA in partnership with the US Navy.

Conducted over two weeks, the course will require a minimum of 50 six-minute on-tether flights before the trainees progress to free flight.

Once off-tether training is completed, the program will conclude with advanced mission-specific maneuvers, including operating in tightly confined spaces and landing on moving targets. Future developments may include in-country arrangements for initial and currency training, using purpose-built facilities. It is anticipated the Southeast Asian customer will use the JetPacks to support complicated special missions.

David Mayman, CEO and founder of JetPack Aviation said, “The contracted training confirms the serious intent of our customer to make full use of the JB12’s manoeuvrability, speed and ease of deployment in active situations where no other type of aircraft can accomplish the mission.

“We designed the JetPacks to be practical, easy to operate and reliable. Once the training is completed our customer will be adding a high performance, extremely versatile, incredibly portable, personal aerial vehicle to its fleet, which can be deployed to support multiple mission types. This is precisely what we envisioned the JetPacks would be used for.”

JPA is developing  a VR simulation system which will reduce training time, and support pilot currency.  It has also implemented a remote control system that enables the instructor to take over throttle control, adding a critical safety enhancement for the early phases of flight training. Work is also continuing on an automatic yaw control management system, also for initial training.

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Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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