What it is:
A jet pack is the portable gadget that you wear on the back so as to facilitate short-range travel. There is a dissimilarity around a jet pack, a rocket pack with a rocket belt, but essentially, they all work on the similar principle. In case you questioned, Jet engines feature two openings (an intake and an exhaust nozzle), where a rocket only has 1.
A jetpack, of any kind, is probably going to become driven by jets of escaping gas.
There are many individual flying devices that do in fact work, but the jet pack, in spite of the overall silliness of the notion, still captures the imaginations of authors, inventors and adventurers the world over. Much so, that despite many (many) conceptual setbacks presented by the theory, using ‘rocket belts’ have in fact been built (and used) for a while now. This is the fact that makes me extremely merry.
Why we want it:
Because being able to fly would be ridiculously awesome, as would being able to soar effortlessly over the busy streets, traffic jams and vehicles screaming 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 home would probably make sufficient shopping trips to single-handedly save the financial system. Or something.
When can we imagine it?
Jet packs are risky (most need large quantities of tremendously flammable Hydrogen Peroxide so as to work). They’re also overly luxurious (Hydrogen Peroxide doesn’t come cheap) and insanely hazardous as well as being (I am sorry to say) entirely and utterly illogical as a mode of transport.
Having said, Eric Scott piloted the ‘Go Fast Sports’ Rocket Belt in San Carlos, CA in 2008, the flight was a short one, but amazing nonetheless. Similar demonstrations of rocket packs/belts may be seen via a quick trip to Youtube. Many of the flights are short and wildly disordered, but all of them appear to be plenty of fun.
So, when do I need my very own jet pack?
A couple of years ago, a rumour circulated that it was possible to develop a fully operating jet pack from stuff available about the Internet. It isn’t (and also you’d be stupid to even try). Unfortunately, true jet packs, the type seen in science fiction serials as a secure, cheap, unfailing means of private transport, remain in the domain of science fiction, an area where they may likely stay evermore.
Will the jet pack ever become a bona-fide means of transportation for the general community? No. Never, but it’s nonetheless fun to dream.
Cool Factor: 5/5
Jet packs? Come on, there is zero more splendid than that, surely?