What it is:
A jet pack is a portable gadget which you wear on your back in order to enable short-range flight. There is a dissimilarity between a jet pack, a rocket pack with a rocket belt, but fundamentally, all of them work on the same principle. In case you questioned, Jet engines include two openings (an intake and an exhaust nozzle), where a rocket only has 1.
A jetpack, of any type, is likely to be driven by jets of escaping gas.
There are many personal airborne gadgets that do truly work, however the jet pack, in spite of the general silliness of the idea, still captures the imaginations of authors, inventors and adventurers the world over. So much so, that despite many (many) conceptual setbacks presented by the theory, using ‘rocket belts’ have actually been created (and used) for a while now. This is a fact that makes me unutterably happy.
Why we want it:
Because having the ability to fly would be ridiculously breathtaking, as would being able to soar fluently over the demanding streets, traffic jams and cars screaming out crappy music twenty four hours a day.
A trip to those shops would be so friggin’ breathtaking that the common jet pack-owning family would most likely make sufficient shopping trips to single-handedly save the economy. Or something.
When can we expect it?
Jet packs are dangerous (most want large quantities of enormously flammable Hydrogen Peroxide so as to work). They are also overly luxurious (Hydrogen Peroxide doesn’t come cheap) and insanely risky as well as being (I am sorry to say) totally and completely illogical as a form of transport.
Having said, Eric Scott piloted the ‘Go Fast Sports’ Rocket Belt in San Carlos, CA in 2008, the flight was a quick one, but amazing nonetheless. Similar demonstrations of rocket packs/belts can be seen via a quick trip to Youtube. All the flights are short and wildly disordered, but they all look like plenty of fun.
So, when do I need my own jet pack?
A couple of years ago, a rumour circulated that it is possible to build a fully operating jet pack from stuff available on the World wide web. It is not (and also you’d be foolish to even try). Alas, true jet packs, the type seen in sci fi serials as the safe, cheap, reliable means of personal transport, remain in the domain of science fiction, an area where they’ll likely stay evermore.
Will the jet pack ever be a bona-fide way of transportation for the general community? No. Never, but it’s nonetheless fun to fantasize.
Cool Factor: 5/5
Jet packs? Come on, there is zero more amazing than that, surely?