hydro-flight-history

02Feb 2010

From the Jetlev.com website courtesy of the Wayback Machine:

TRIAL PRODUCTION PROGRAM UPDATE: We are making excellent progress in our trial production program, which we expect to complete by April 2010. Following certification, we’ll begin serial production and hope to begin limited shipments by the end of June 2010.

PRODUCT SNEAK PREVIEW: Dubai Boat Show, UAE            Mar 9-13, 2010

Come see flight demonstrations and take a sneak preview of our latest demonstration unit, samples of the trial production jetpacks, jetpack stands, and remote coaching system at the Dubai International Boat Show. We will be accepting pre-orders and deposits at the show.

PRODUCTION AND ROLLOUT PLANS:
We are planning a limited rollout in select markets in the United States, Canada, Europe, Middle East and Australia, hopefully by the end of June 2010. The total product allocation for all markets combined will be limited to about 500 systems for the 2010 summer season.

FIRST DEALER APPOINTED IN DUBAI
We are pleased to announce the appointment of Pearl Watercrafts LLC. as our first dealer in the world. Pearl Watercrafts is located at the Dubai Marina Yacht Club and plans to open other sales offices in Monaco and the Middle East. They’ll also operate a convenient Jetlev training center in the area. Visit them in Dubai or www.pearl-watercrafts.com.

18Jan 2010

Of course we were amped when we first saw the YouTube video in 2009.  We scoured the net for any news and where we could try and fly it. We even took a trip to Dubai to try and find it and see it at Pearl Watercraft.  Now there were two websites sort of selling the same thing. The Jetlev-Flyer website and the Jetlev website.  But it seemed sort of weird, one was selling, one was not, different prices, slightly diverging gear photos, confusing text, both a little bit uncool.  Half of the people we talked to thought it was a fraud, that the video was somehow faked and the product was vaporware. We believed however, just knew there was some kind of story.

Here is the story as we now understand it.

MS Watersports brought the prototype idea over to Germany and started the continuous development it with Frazier and then Ray.  The development had run through its course in Florida and the project was in danger of dying on the vine.  MS Watersports agreed to partner up with Ray and Frazier in exchange for European, Middle East and Russian distribution rights.  Frazier and later Frazier and Ray, worked with the suppliers for MSW, high tech German companies that did work on submarines, high end carbon fiber builders, the best of the best for these super luxury devices getting sold to Russian oligarchs. Money was no object.   MS Watersports at one point ( the 2009 Boat Show) said “good enough” and began selling and taking people’s money.  The very first MS Watersports unit was sold to a famous Middle East construction company family with a very infamous son.  MS Watersports sank a boatload of money into the project and needed to make some money for its investors.  The unit has lots of little nagging issues and Ray and Frazier are not really very happy with it.  But they are investors too, and talking to Lars is like talking to a windmill.  They both head back to the States, taking the current state of the art jetpacks back with them.

Frazier and Ray in Florida are working under Jetlev and Ray announces that the sales are going to be paused and the development is going to continue.  Jetlev takes the design and evolves it forward.  They continue to refine the concept, still maintaining the money is no object principle for production.  The product sales launch hits one delay after another, the product seems locked in perpetual development.

MS Watersports struggles as well with producing something for the first time. They finally start delivering units in late 2011. We (then a water sport company partnership) take delivery of unit number six in Thailand, we meet Frazier.

01Jan 2010

With the design for the R200 and carbon fiber jetpack relatively worked out, Ray and Frazier return to Florida.  MS Watersports has been granted distribution rights to Europe and Russia, Jetlev LLC for the rest of the world.  Ray stills sees room (rightly so) for improvement in the design of the system.  He stops sales of the jetpack systems and continues development.

18Feb 2009

Big German Boat Show.  Limelight baby.  The jetpack makes its debut. The metallic super pod makes its debut.  The jetpack is up near the ceiling. The price is a staggering 136,000 USD.  The video of the flight becomes a YouTube sensation.

From the Jetlev website in February 2009, sourced from the WayBackMachine

Jetlev Sports Inc. has licensed MS Watersports GmbH of Germany to produce the first Jetlev model. The JETLEV-FLYER is now undergoing final testing and preparations for production. The first model with 155 HP engine will retail for 99,000 Euros. Production volume will be limited. 50% of the production volume is earmarked for customers in Europe, Russian Federation states, and the Middle East. Demo flights will be available soon and orders will be accepted by MS Watersports GmbH now. The other 50% of production volume is earmarked for customers in all other regions of the world. Demo flights will be available and orders will be accepted by Jetlev Sports Inc. in Florida starting in April 2009. Orders are expected to ship commencing June 2009 with an approximately three-month lead time.

18Dec 2008

Frazier has been working his ass off in Germany to get the project going.  The torpedo boat turned out to be a disaster, too small, too cute, just plain useless. Turns out all of those big jet skis companies were on the right track with their million dollar research budgets and sales.  Lars brings Ray over to strike the big deal with him and go into business.  Ray arrives to Germany expecting to see a clean room white walled factory with robots.  Instead finds the MS Watersports warehouse. He sticks around for the summer and develops jetpacks and breathes second hand cigarette smoke from Lars.

18Nov 2008

Lars has Frazier fly over to Germany to see his factory.  Turns out it is not a factory so much as a warehouse with used jet skis in it.  But Lars has a good network of connections and convinces Frazier to stay in Germany and tell Ray how amazing his operation is.  Lars is an excellent sales person.  He can sell you anything once.  He puts the full court press on and Frazier stays in Germany to develop the Jetlev pod and jetpack.  Lars spends the big bucks and hires a German design firm to design a bitchin’ torpedo boat, fiberglass and metallic paint.

18Nov 2007

German Lars Ramcke is buying used jet skis in Florida and shipping them back for resale in Northern Germany.  He connects with Frazier and Frazier sources used jet skis.  Frazier shows him the jetpack work in progress.  Lars is not interested, packs his container up and returns to Germany.

 

18Jul 2007

Ray gets a Canadian development grant for working on the Jetlev.  Calls up Frazier and brings him back in on the project.

18Aug 2005

history2_lg1Experimentation continues and Ray builds the so called “Coffin” boat, a purpose built “pod” for housing the water pump.

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