Although water jetpacks and flyboards have been around for the better part of 6 years now, the inner workings of hydroflight still baffles a lot of people.
We have created this "How Hydroflight Works" diagram to help explain some of the general ideas. The system is the same for all manufacturers and devices.
ZR Flyboard, FlyDive X-Board, water jetpacks, Jetovator Jetbikes, etc, etc., all operate on the same basic principles.
A quick list of the concepts:
1. Max flight height for hydroflight varies based on skill level, PWC power and hose length. The average jetboard and jetpack height is around 20-25 feet.
2. Power comes from the PWC. PWC horsepower should be 130 horsepower or more.
3. The hose that attaches the board to the PWC is a flexible, rubber-like material. Different manufacturers use slightly different materials. But, all the top brands use very durable hoses that can be rolled-up after use.
4. We recommend flying in no less than 10 feet of water.
5. The person flying the jetpack or jetboard is in control of the PWC direction of movement.
6. The U-pipe can be made of metal or extremely thick silicone. It is rigid and connects to a brand-specific
adapter plate on the back of the PWC. It captures all the water that would normally make the PWC move and redirects it through the hose to make the
jetpack or jetboard pilot fly. (See our videos on our FAQ page to see what a U-Pipe looks like and where it attaches)
7. The tether at the front of the PWC keeps the hose and ski pointed the same direction and takes strain off of the U-Pipe. There are a number of designs that different manufacturers use.
8. To fly, a person needs to be controlling the PWC throttle. This usually requires someone to be sitting on the PWC. However, with the addition of the "Wireless Throttle" kit, the pilot can control the PWC throttle and flying can become a solo activity. The wireless throttle kit includes a remote that the pilot uses and a kit that must be installed on the PWC. Installation varies depending on manufacturer of the wireless throttle kit. (see our "accessories" page in our shop to see the different wireless throttles)
9. The cost of flying has dramatically dropped! We have complete jetboard kits for under $3500! Considering that it can be powered by most 2005 or newer PWCs, the cost of hydroflight has dropped enough to make it accessible to a lot of people.
The original JetLev systems used to cost $80,000+ dollars.
10. The "Steering Nozzle" is a really nice accessory to add to your hydroflight set-up. Although, you can attach/detach
the U-pipe and adapter plate and replace the stock steering system in under 1 hour, it is really nice to be able to go from "riding to flying" in under
1 minute. That is what the quick release steering nozzles facilitate (see Steering Nozzle in our shop) When you initially set-up your PWC for flying, you attach the adapter plate to the back of your PWC and you can attach the steering nozzle to the adapter
plate. You can cruise your PWC to your flight zone, jump in the water and quickly unhook the steering nozzle and attach your u-pipe..."flying to riding
(and vice-versa) in under 60 seconds". (See our videos on our FAQ page to see how the steering nozzle works)
11. To get more power and efficiency from your PWC, we often recommend installing a dual impeller. It increases water flow (for higher max height), reduces cavitation (for reduced engine strain) and is, generally more efficient than a stock impeller (for improved fuel efficiency). We use a company called Skat-Trak. It takes approximately 1 hour to install the dual impeller, but requires special tools, so this modification is best left for your PWC mechanic. When cruising your PWC, the only difference is a 2-5% lower top speed (barely enough to notice). So, for any PWC with 180hp or less, a dual impeller can give you a 5-10 foot max height increase when flying a jetpack or jetboard. (See Skat-Trak Dual Impeller in our shop)
You can find more hydroflight info in our "Equipment FAQ Page". Also, check out these blog articles: