The world's first jet suit race took place in Dubai

By TravelWiseMar 10, 2024 15:29 PMNews
Share:
The world's first jet suit race took place in Dubai
Thrill seekers took part in the world's first race in jet suits. Source: gravity.co

The pilots lined up on the runway in Dubai and started their seven jet engines with an ear-splitting roar. But they were not preparing to fly – they were the airplane.

It is a city-state in the United Arab Emirates, known for being home to the world's tallest building and other wonders. Dubai hosted what is being called the first-ever jet suit race. Racers raced along the route, along which the skyscrapers of Dubai Marina towered, controlling jet engines on their arms and backs. This was reported by techxplore.com.

"The closest analogy would be a dream of flying... And then to fly anywhere. And so, the world of Marvel superheroes and DC comics have created this dream book with computer graphics, and I think we're the closest we've come to making it come true," said Richard Browning, founder and chief test pilot of Gravity Industries, a firm that competed with Dubai.

Earlier, Gravity attracted global attention when it equipped the Royal Marines of the United Kingdom with one of its jet suits, which landed on a ship at sea a few years ago. Since then, they have traveled extensively with these suits and sought other military applications for them before coming up with the idea of competing with the Dubai Sports Council.

During the race in Dubai, the pilots were wearing jet suits with 1500 horsepower, which is more than the power of luxury sports cars. They used the same type of fuel as the Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 aircraft of Dubai-based Emirates Airlines. The pilots lined up on the runway used by Skydive Dubai, a thrill ride company associated with the Crown Prince of the Sheikhdom, Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, and several skydivers descended, preparing their jet packs.

Then came what pilot Issa Kalfon called "the moment of truth." The engines roared to life, and the pilots jumped up and leaned forward. When the helicopter took off, the pilots took off as well, avoiding obstacles in the water channel near the site. The organizers said they chose a place on the water to ensure greater speed and safety, as the pilots fly a short distance over the water.

Currently, the jet suit can reach speeds of up to 80 mph (128 km/h). During the race, the pilots picked up speed, and two of them even collided with each other, but remained in the air while the crowd watched in amazement.

"It's really amazing to see that they can do this in Dubai and these guys are flying over the water. It looks like astronauts are flying in space," said Jennifer Ross, a 50-year-old US citizen from Houston who now lives in Dubai.

Although Dubai is known for its beaches, bars, and souks, it has long been a city that fascinates flying, especially because it is home to the world's busiest airport for international travel. The city has been toying with the idea of flying taxis for years.

Kalfon, who eventually won the competition and lifted the golden jet turbine, admitted he was nervous before the flight, but described the jet suit as safe and easy to use.

"Everything is hot, everything works, the engines scream. And the flag goes down, and it's just great..." said Kalfon.

There was one accident during the race. Emirati pilot Ahmed al-Shehi fell into the water in the middle of the race, went in feet first, but immediately jumped back out to give a thumbs up to the rescuers. The announcer said that he had only 12 days of training before the race.

Meanwhile, spectators looked at the jet suits, some saying they couldn't wait to ride.

"In Dubai, you can see the best show because people are flying - they are flying in the sky. This is the next level of technology. It's very nice because if you're a big Iron Man fan, you know, Tony Stark, then this is Iron Man technology," said Pratik Vyas, 35, from Gujarat, who works in the import-export business.

TravelWise previously reported on some of the best transportation innovations of the past 90 years.

Top Articles
Seville is the perfect vacation destination

Where to stay in Seville: Top 10 hotels for every traveler

Jun 14, 2024 09:17 AM
Secrets of choosing airlines in the US

Budget flights: the best US low-cost airlines for budget travelers

Jun 13, 2024 08:39 AM

Top 10 great hotels in Glasgow: from serviced apartments to stylish boutique properties and grand townhouses

Jun 12, 2024 09:15 AM

America's air harbors: the largest airports in the United States

Jun 11, 2024 10:07 AM
More News
Empty modern train platform at sunrise

Stadler’s FLIRT Trains Set to Transform Travel in Serbia

Jun 15, 2024 07:30 AM
Alaska Airlines plane taking off at sunset

Alaska Airlines Introduces Nonstop Flights Between Anchorage and New York City

Jun 15, 2024 06:30 AM

Euro 2024 Travel Chaos for England Fans

Jun 15, 2024 05:30 AM

Flynas Expands Domestic Flights for Summer, Boosting Tourism with Over 480,000 Seats

Jun 15, 2024 04:30 AM
Statue in front of Principality Stadium, Cardiff

Visit Cardiff Releases Travel Advice for Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour

Jun 15, 2024 03:30 AM
Emirates airplane flying in the sky

Emirates Celebrates Eid Al Adha with Gourmet Treats and Entertainment

Jun 15, 2024 02:30 AM
A bus with a passenger waiting at the bus stop

Regional Bus Fares to Increase in West Midlands

Jun 15, 2024 01:30 AM
New York JFK Airport, New York City, USA

FK's New Baggage Sanitization System Eliminates 99.9% Of Harmful Pathogens From Luggage In Seconds

Jun 15, 2024 00:30 AM
Southwest Airlines plane in flight

FAA Investigates Southwest 737 MAX Incident After Near Mach 1 Scare

Jun 15, 2024 00:05 AM

Air New Zealand Flight Makes Emergency Return After Lightning Strike

Jun 14, 2024 23:30 PM

FAA Cracks Down on Unruly Passengers as Summer Travel Soars

Jun 14, 2024 22:30 PM
Airplanes at Newark Liberty International Airport

Severe Weather in Florida Causes Major Disruptions at Newark Airport

Jun 14, 2024 21:30 PM
Aerial view of lush green landscape and beach on the Solomon Islands

Discover the Cultural Heritage of the Solomon Islands: Historical Recordings Return Home

Jun 14, 2024 20:30 PM
View of the Acropolis in Athens, Greece

Greece Issues Travel Warning as Temperatures Soar to 43°C

Jun 14, 2024 19:30 PM
Flydubai airplane on runway with city skyline in background

Flydubai Launches Seasonal Summer Routes to Stunning Island Destinations

Jun 14, 2024 18:30 PM

Qatar Airways Passengers Strip Amid 100-Degree Heat During Tarmac Delay

Jun 14, 2024 17:32 PM

Iberia Expands Record Capacity Between Europe and Latin America for 2024

Jun 14, 2024 16:30 PM
Person using a laptop

UK Travel Industry Faces New Regulatory Challenges Impacting Travelers

Jun 14, 2024 15:34 PM
Frontier Airlines plane in flight

Frontier Airlines Launches 'Family Summer Getaway' Giveaway

Jun 14, 2024 14:30 PM
Close-up view of a bus parked on a city street

Travel Disruption: Oxford Bus Services to Heathrow Cancelled

Jun 14, 2024 13:36 PM
Cruise ship of Royal Caribbean

World's Longest Cruise Offers 274 Nights of Adventure Across 60+ Countries

Jun 14, 2024 13:00 PM
Dense cloud formations seen from an airplane

Increasing Turbulence in Flights: What to Expect

Jun 14, 2024 12:30 PM

Naked Cyclists Protest for Safer Streets in London and Mexico City

Jun 14, 2024 12:00 PM

Safety Incident on Lowther Street, Carlisle: A Travel Advisory

Jun 14, 2024 11:35 AM
Ryanair jet in the airport

Ryanair Enforces Ban on Lighters in Hand Luggage

Jun 14, 2024 11:00 AM
Venice canal with colorful buildings and boats

Qatar Airways Resumes Daily Flights to Venice, Italy

Jun 14, 2024 10:30 AM