Martin Aircraft, the ducted fan “jetpack” people, have announced that the Civil Air Authority of New Zealand, is now allowing manned test flights of their “jetpack”, but only if they stay below 6 meters (~20 feet), and remain in uninhabited areas.
Estes rocket motor jetpack
image credit: Sacha Maric & Tom Gottelier, for Libertine-Libertine
Part of me would like a jet pack, but in all honesty, I don’t know what I’d do with it. I guess commute with it. Of course, if I did that, I’d feel like I was underdressed for the jet pack crowd if I wasn’t wearing a tux. Jet packs aren’t Buck Rodgers, as much as James Bond for me. If I had one, I’d want to walk out of a cocktail party, followed close behind by an overweight archnemesis and his sultry girlfriend. I’d turn and say, “Be seeing you,” snap the visor shut on my helmet and blast away straight up into the night, while the archnemesis turns red in frustration, and the girlfriend clutches her bosom and looks up longingly as the jet wash waves her hair and dress, making her look ever more ravishingly beautiful.
In reality though, the jet pack would be sitting out in my apartment’s parking lot under a tree than constantly drops leaves and pollen on it, so I’d have pull a big tarp off of it. Drag it out into the middle of the lot. Put on a helmet that would be too tight. Fumble with a five-point harness. Then, fly to Mountain View. Land in another parking lot, where I’d have to ever so carefully fly/drag it to a post that I could chain it to with a bike lock. Repeat the process at the end of the day, only to find a noise pollution notice from the HOA taped to my apartment door.