Jetpacks.

What I know about Jetpacks… can fit on this newsletter.

There are 3 major jetpack startups, I’m going to talk about the 2 who Boost VC invested in. I’m sure that Boeing is working on one, and Lockheed, but they will be so far away from this being a focus that they will never make progress. In the mean time, that’s what startups do - work in the shadows of giants.

So again, there are three startup jetpack companies, and they all work.

I think that’s probably the most important thing to walk away with. We live in a day and time where jetpacks exist. Someone could be flying one right now… how cool is that. There is someone just hovering around with a Jetpack right now.

Here is a quick once over on the Jetpacks:

Jetpack Startup #1

Gravity: Truly Iron Man style flying.

Adam Savage Meets Richard Browning's Flight Suit!

Adam Savage Meets Richard Browning's Flight Suit!

Richard Browning has had two lives, one as an oil trader, and then a re-awakening as a Jetpack entrepreneur. I saw a video of the early versions of this suit and reached out to him, we arranged for his first public flight to be at the Boost VC Demo Day 2 years ago.

The Boost VC Demo Day - Gravity Flight with Richard Browning

The Boost VC Demo Day - Gravity Flight with Richard Browning

I would describe Richard Browning as a “Tony Stark” type character. He has a big vision, he’s an incredible marketer and he has a flying suit. The only difference between Tony Stark and him is Richard’s British accent. From the time he came up with the idea, to the time he was hovering around - Richard built it in 18 months. Quick iterative cycles. I love entrepreneurs who do that.

Boost VC did decide to invest!

Jetpack Startup #2:

Jetpack Aviation - The Rocketeer!! and now Rocket Bike!

JetPack Aviation JB10 Principality of Monaco Flight #3 iPhone6S

JetPack Aviation JB10 Principality of Monaco Flight #3 iPhone6S

David Mayman is Australian and has been in the Jetpack game for 13 years. He built a few successful companies, sold them, took the money he made and decided to invest in the future of aerospace. I would call this style of flying “The Rocketeer,” because this is more what people would classically think of as a jetpack.

Of all the Jetpack Pilots in all the world, I believe that David Mayman has the most flying time of any of them. He has flown around the Statue of Liberty and a million other amazing places.

Over the last decade he has iterated, and built a ton of versions, but just recently he and his team have decided to take their technology to the next level, and build a JETBIKE!

Jetpack Aviations latest creation and focus.

Jetpack Aviations latest creation and focus.

We are investors in Jetpack Aviation.

Now, I will lay out the major problems with Jetpacks, there are 3 problems that I believe will be the keys to mass adoption:

  1. Falling out of the sky problem

  2. Time in air problem

  3. Noise problem

Falling out of the Sky

So between 30 and 100 meters, there is a death zone where parachutes won’t work well. and because that will probably be the zone most Jetpacks are flying, we need new solutions to hard problems here.

Time in the Air

As of now, I think the higher end of being in the air with a jetpack is 20 minutes. The gas tanks that are held on their backs is also a challenge of weight. The solutions for this are probably going to be based on battery breakthroughs in the next 10 years.

Noise Problem

Jetpacks are made of Jets. Jet power is very loud using deisel and jet fuel to propel a human being into the air. This could change by moving towards an electric engine, but there have been very few successful attempts in this direction.

Now you might know something new about Jetpacks.


By Adam Draper

I ponder as a VC.

It's a quick one minute read to make you think, smile, or laugh.

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