Random thoughts on most things from A. M. Craig.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Jetpack

The Legend. The Myth.

A few days ago, the Martin Jetpack became the first commercially available VTOL "jetpack" device, a dream of tinkerers and sci-fi enthusiasts since before Buck Rogers.

NOTE: Clever of them to use the ethereal, ambient, vaguely electronic background music. It's far more reminiscent of this age old dream of personal flight than the more natural "WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA" noise that I'm sure the ducted fans emit.

Just look at it. Its beautiful.

I know, it isn't really a jetpack, per se. The term is generic at this point. Devices more closely mimicing the traditional look and size have been around since the 60s, but flight time is prohibitively short. The device below is powered by Hydrogen Peroxide, of all things.

There have, over the decades, been tweaks and permutations, but none that provided a sustained, practical transportation experience, simply novelty. But that was enough to fuel development.

The Germans' began R&D of the "Himmelst├╝rmer" during WWII.

James Bond used one (for real) in the 1965 production of Thunderball.

GoFast made one as a promotional vehicle
, branding themselves as adrenaline junkie bad boys (I think they're missing the point, the larger cultural picture).

Juan Lozano of Mexico built one, no joke, in his backyard. This man is dedicated.

I've mentioned jetpacks a few times before right on this blog, even the Martin Jetpack when it was still very much in development.

Even though the Martin pack is now available, the fact is, I'm not a pilot, and they're dreadfully expensive, about $86,000. I've thought maybe the JetLev would be more practical, but its twice as expensive than the Martin pack, running at 129,000 €, or about $177,478.

It's just machined metal, a hose, and a jet ski.
I wonder if I could make one...

Dreams, dreams. We're all entitled to have them.

As an aside, I think the Martin pack needs to have some sort of foot rest. Don't you think it would be a little annoying to have them just dangling the whole time?

1 comment:

amy said...

I really appreciate your thorough knowledge on the subject of jetpacks. I hope you get one for Christmas.