When film fans think jetpacks, it's either old-school pulpy sci-fi (like the stuff that inspired Boba Fett's iconic piece of flight tech) or slick superhero modifications that the Falcon or Iron Man might show off. But The Winter Soldier might not have to stick with his winged friend for much longer, because the real strides in jetpack technology actually look like they're now combining the best of all these inspirations.
Meeting in that middle ground, with both wings and jets, is the team at Jetman Dubai, which broke ground last week with their latest take on a sci-fi classic.
CNN reports that the company and pilot Vince Reffett launched their new jet-powered wingsuit from the ground and, in just half a minute, zipped a thousand meters into the air. While there have been launches from elevated locations before (like a helicopter), this was the first ground-to-sky flight the company's ever done. This launch, which took place on Feb. 14, showed off all the suit's capabilities during its flight around the Skydive Dubai runway in the United Arab Emirates.
Take a look:
Wingless jet suits have previously set record speeds of 85 mph. Reffett's average speed was clocked in at almost 150 mph. Reffett also did a loop, roll, and performed plenty of controlled, hovering turns over the course of the three-minute flight before opening his parachute.
"We are so happy we achieved this incredible flight," Reffett said, per CNN. "It is another step in a long-term project. One of the next objectives is to land back on the ground after a flight at altitude, without needing to open a parachute. It's being worked on."
So landing, that's the main issue. Those four jet engines surely suck up fuel like crazy as well, regardless of how sleek the wingsuit's carbon-fiber composition may be. The impressive feat — just the jetpack's acceleration as it zooms into the sky looks like the next Marvel movie — is reportedly the result of 50 test flights and 100 practice takeoffs with the suit, leading to one of the most impressive steps forward for the transportation method of the future. As long as fans' commutes are under three minutes, that is.