THE FUTURE IS HERE…OR IS IT?
INCREDIBLE FLYING JET PACKS
PREMIERES SUNDAY, JULY 19 AT 9 PM ET/PT ON
Special Features Jet Pack Pilot Nick Macomber’s Daring Flight From The 45th Floor Rooftop Of Denver’s Four Seasons Hotel
New York, July 8, 2015 – Jet packs have sparked our imaginations for decades. They’re fast, they’re cool, and people dream of them becoming part of everyday life in the 21st century. A new Smithsonian Channel one-hour special, INCREDIBLE FLYING JET PACKS, premiering Sunday, July 19 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, explores their past, present and future.
Featured in INCREDIBLE FLYING JET PACKS is jet pack pilot extraordinaire Nick Macomber, who attempts three flights never before seen on television. Nick takes off on his first indoor flight at Smithsonian Magazine’s The Future is Here Festival. The enthralled crowd watches Nick take flight for 30 seconds inside Washington D.C.’s Ronald Reagan building, using Jet Pack International’s latest model, the H202. Nick then preps for an attempt in Auckland, New Zealand where he hopes to break the jet pack world record for flying off of the tallest free-standing structure. But first, he completes a daring flight from the 45th floor rooftop of Denver’s Four Seasons Hotel, circumnavigating the building’s antenna.
Jet pack fever first took off in the early 1960’s. Back then, they were loud, expensive, hard to fly, and only capable of 30-second flights. In 50 years, little has changed. They’ve been tested for use in the battlefield, teased us in Hollywood movies, opened the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games, and set their own world records. But they’ve never taken off with the public because they require a super-charged rocket engine. They are heavy, hard to fly, and dangerous.
But inventors and pilots keep trying. Engineers continue to tweak fuels and technology in pursuit of a longer, safer flight. And a Canadian inventor’s water-propelled pack delights tourists but has little practical use.
The one place jet packs have truly taken off is in outer space. When Captain Bruce McCandless made the very first untethered spacewalk in 1984, he relied on a jet pack called a Manned Maneuvering Unit, or MMU. Like the very first jetpack, which was invented by Wendell Moore, the MMU ran on nitrogen gas. Twenty-four thrusters emitted bursts of nitrogen that allowed him to fly free in space and work away from the safety of the shuttle.
INCREDIBLE FLYING JET PACKS is an original production produced by Pip Gilmour Productions for Smithsonian Channel. Director is Pip Gilmour. Executive Producers are Linda Goldman, David Royle and Charles Poe.
Smithsonian Channel™, owned by Showtime Networks Inc. and the Smithsonian Institution, is where curiosity lives, inspiration strikes and wonders never cease. This is the place for awe-inspiring stories, powerful documentaries and amazing entertainment across multiple platforms. Smithsonian Channel combines the storytelling prowess of SHOWTIME® with the unmatched resources and rich traditions of the Smithsonian, to create award-winning programming that shines new light on popular genres such as air and space, history, science, nature, and pop culture. Among the network’s offerings are series including Aerial America, Million Dollar American Princesses, Boomtowners, Mighty Ships, Mighty Planes and Air Disasters, as well as critically-acclaimed specials that include Civil War 360, 9/11: The Heartland Tapes; MLK: The Assassination Tapes and The Day Kennedy Died. Find out more at www.smithsonianchannel.com.