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The Man Making Jet Packs Possible Flying high with a water-powered jet pack can now be a reality for thrill-seeking tourists thanks to Raymond Li's invention.

By Jennifer Wang

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Raymond Li's interest in jet packs started when he saw the James Bond movie Thunderball at age 12. "There were a lot of cool gadgets in it, but that one stuck in my mind. I remember running to the library to do research on it, and doodling and doodling ideas," Li says. But it wasn't until 2002, more than 30 years later, that he was inspired to make his jet-pack dreams a reality.

Li, who lived in St. John's, Newfoundland, had sold his graphics business of 15 years and worked in real-estate investment when he began doodling again in earnest, this time with seed money from the National Research Council Canada and a partnership with the Institute for Ocean Technology, researching safety regulations and control mechanisms that would allow for stability in the air. In 2008 he finished a working prototype and, "against everybody's advice," moved to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to facilitate year-round testing, eventually building a half-dozen units for use in recreational watersports that he sold to rental shops for thrill-seeking tourists.

The JetLev

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