What it is:
A jet pack is the portable apparatus that you wear on your back in order to enable short-range flight. There is a distinction between a jet pack, a rocket pack using a rocket belt, but essentially, they all work on the similar theory. Just in case you wondered, Jet engines feature two openings (an intake and an exhaust nozzle), whereas a rocket only has one.
A jetpack, of any kind, is probably going to become driven by jets of escaping gas.
There are many private flying devices that do in fact work, but the jet pack, despite the general silliness of the idea, still captures the imaginations of writers, inventors and adventurers the world over. Much so, that regardless of many (many) conceptual setbacks presented with the theory, using ‘rocket belts’ have in reality been created (and used) for a while now. This is a fact that makes me extremely happy.
Why we want it:
Because being able to fly would be ridiculously breathtaking, as would having the ability to soar naturally over the busy streets, traffic jams and cars blaring out crappy music twenty four hours a day.
A visit to the shops would be so friggin’ grand that the common jet pack-owning family would almost certainly make enough shopping trips to single-handedly save the market. Or something.
When can we imagine it?
Jet packs are risky (most need huge quantities of enormously flammable Hydrogen Peroxide so as to work). They are also overly expensive (Hydrogen Peroxide does not come cheap) and insanely unsafe as well as being (I am sorry to say) totally and completely illogical as a mode of transport.
Having said, Eric Scott piloted the ‘Go Fast Sports’ Rocket Belt in San Carlos, CA in 2008, the trip was a quick one, but amazing nonetheless. Similar demonstrations of rocket packs/belts might be seen via a quick trip to Youtube. All the flights are short and wildly anarchic, but all of them look like plenty of fun.
So, when do I get my very own jet pack?
A few years ago, a rumour circulated that it was probable to create a completely working jet pack from stuff available on the World wide web. It isn’t (and you’d be foolish to even try). Unfortunately, true jet packs, the type seen in science fiction serials as the safe, inexpensive, reliable means of personal transport, remain in the domain of science fiction, a place where they will likely stay evermore.
Will the jet pack ever be a bona-fide means of transportation for the general public? No. Never, but it is nonetheless fun to dream.
Cool Factor: 5/5
Jet packs? Come on, there is zero more splendid than that, certainly?