This weekend I read a New York Times article about a prototype jetpack. The inventor took the pack for a spin in a posted video. The video shows what looks to be a double air conditioner on a guy’s back. A couple guys lift the jetpack and man in the air (the inventor says this was to stabilize the contraption). As the assistants and the inventor hover, they move along the air. I laughed when some overhead tree branches got caught in the “jetback”. The more laughable matter was that somebody was calling this contraption a jetpack. I think I need to post a comment to the article with a link to a Jetsons video.
The self proclaimed jetpack is being described as the world’s first practical jetpack. The inventor states that he worked on the jetpack for 27 years. It would cost $100k to buy one currently. The jetpack is described as a 5 foot tall device. The inventor estimates that smaller jetpacks will not be available for another generation. The inventor confessed that the device was not truly a jetpack, since it does not produce a jet steam. It has a 200 horsepower engine. The jetpack itself weighs 250 pounds.
Here is a little more comedy. The inventor refused to declare that his jetpack was safe. Perhaps this was on guidance from his lawyer. He anticipated a future user of the jetpack to have “a bad time”. He did state that he has tested the thing as high a 6 feet off the ground. And there have been a total of 12 individuals who have been involved in the testing. The inventor compared his progress to the initial flight by the Wright brothers. That statement only resulted in more laughter from me.
I do not think that this was a comedy piece by the New York Times. They were reporting on an event that was deemed significant by the inventor, if nobody else. Perhaps the problem is that I have already reserved a certain set of images in my mind as to what a jetpack should look like and behave. The twin air conditioning units, lifted by a couple buddies, does not in my mind qualify as anything close to a jetpack. But I could be proven wrong. Although it may take another 27 years of development to do so. Go figure.
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