The Personal Jetpack — Old Dreams Die Hard

September 29 2008 / by John Heylin / In association with Future
Category: Transportation   Year: General   Rating: 6 Hot

Ahhh, the jetpack. For almost a hundred years, mankind has been fascinated with this technology, and for almost a hundred years we’ve wasted our time on it.

If you haven’t heard the news, Swiss airline pilot Yves Rossy managed to jet his way across the Channel between England and France in under ten minutes last Friday. What makes his jetpack truly original and fascinating is that it has wings.

“Rossy developed and built a winged pack with rigid aeroplane-type carbon-fiber wings with a span of about 8 feet (2.4 m), and four small kerosene-burning Jet-Cat jet engines under the wings; these engines are large versions of a type designed for model aeroplanes. He wears a heat-resistant suit similar to that of a firefighter or racing driver to protect him from the hot jet exhaust.”

The jetpacks you see frequently on TV are powered using pressurized hydrogen peroxide (typically giving the wearer less than a minute of flying time). Yves’ jetpack is not only powered by kerosene, but the added wing allows the user more directional flexibility and higher speeds, not to mention longer flying times.

But while this latest addition to the world of science blows our minds, do we need a jetpack?

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The Awesome Water-Powered Jet Pack

January 31 2009 / by Jeff Hilford / In association with Future
Category: Technology   Year: 2009   Rating: 5 Hot

Well, it looks like you might get your personal jetpack pretty soon after all.  The advantages of the water-powered variety vs. the rocket fuel type are that it is way less likely to explode or burn you to a crisp and gets much higher gas mileage (not to mention probably takes regular). The downside is that you'll be restricted to traveling over bodies of water.


Seems like this might have some use in water patrol.  Gives you that birdseye view and would be a lot less expensive and more practical than a helicopter over smaller spaces.  Either way, it's pretty cool.

Wonder when we'll see the first English Channel crossing with one of these?