California-based JetPack Aviation (JPA) today announced a world-first following the signing of an agreement to provide JetPack pilot and maintainer training to a military customer in Southeast Asia. This is the first time that professional JetPack training has been delivered to a team of serving military personnel and represents a critical advancement in the use of personal aerial vehicles for government use.
Following the signing of a USD 800,000 order for two JB12 JetPacks, the customer has contracted JetPack Aviation to train two pilots and two maintenance technicians at its California facility, with future options to teach additional personnel, including an instructor.
The student pilots, already experienced military personnel but without flying experience, will initially receive on-tether instruction, subsequently moving off-tether for advanced training, following an FAA-approved syllabus created by JPA and the US Navy. Training, which will be undertaken close to JetPack Aviation’s Ventura, CA. headquarters, will be delivered on the customer’s own JB12 aircraft during summer 2022. 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.
“The contracted training confirms the serious intent of our customer to make full use of the JB12’s maneuverability, 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,” commented David Mayman, CEO and founder of JetPack Aviation.
JPA is currently working on 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.