It’s one of the dreams of every nerd who went to go see The Rocketeer; strapping into your own personal jetpack and taking to the skies. While you probably aren’t going to be able to take off from the ground and hit Mach 2 any time soon, the jetpack is, in fact, almost ready to be sold to the general public.
First of all, you should be aware that while this might be a jetpack, it’s a relatively slow one: The top speed is only 46 miles per hour, so it’s still probably going to be faster to commute to work with a car, especially since your boss is unlikely to want to let you land on the roof. But, unlike a lot of designs that have been announced, this really is a jetpack; you fly using jets, powered by a tank of premium gas.
Less About Distance, More About Height
Granted, you won’t get very far, either; the suggested range for the craft is about twenty miles. But that’s not really the point, as Martin Aircraft has demonstrated more than once. While this will be sold to the public, the first units aren’t going to crazy rich people but rather to emergency first responders, with the idea being that they can fly over rough terrain, land, and start giving help while other services come overland to assist.
An Expensive Dream
Finally, as you may have guessed, this isn’t going to be cheap. You’ll have to put down a $5000 deposit, but that’s just a down payment against the $200,000 you’ll have to cough up if you want to fly like an eagle and risk running out of gas a few thousand feet in the air.
But, come on, $200,000 is totally worth it, especially since your other alternative is to jump out of an airplane with a smaller airplane strapped to your back.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.