Jet pack

There’s a jet pack on offer at eBay.


Well at least he’s honest about what he’s achieved.

It seems the guy is a True Believer rather than a scamster. I’m not an aeronautical engineer, but I can see a some problems with his design. For example, how does one deal with asymmetrical thrust in the event of an engine failure? It’s rather a lot more complicated than the one that was flown in the '60s. But I’d imagine a jet-powered jet pack, were one to be made to work, would have more than 20 seconds flying time.

I like the idea of a jet pack, but I’d rather have a helicopter.

Its two mints in one!

In this case you deal with it writting a will before flying…

Although the 8 engines may give an increased sense of security they only make the probability of a failure much higher. If it had just one larger engine it would be 8 times safer than this. If the engine fails you are toast though…

But what if one of this things engines fails?, you´ll have to reduce power on the opposite side equal to the lost thrust on the other, so it´s like you´ve just lost two engines; with 1/4th of the total thrust gone I suspect the flight would enter the plummeting fase at that point.

Another problem I see with the design is that the center of gravity is too close to the center of thrust, that makes it very unstable. of all the functional jetpacks I´ve seen all redirected the exhaust nozzles as far up as possible for that reason.

I hope whomever buys that thing doesn´t attempt to fly it, or else he should also auction for this so his family can frame the Darwin award.

Twelve hours to go, and the bid is $10,399. I was wondering why anyone would be foolish enough to buy this. Surely someone with the money would be smart enough to know it won’t work? And the bids aren’t high enough to indicate sham bidding.

But I did find this.

So I guess someone might want it just for the engines. Maybe four go-karts with spares?

Okay, correct me if I’m wrong here – though I don’t think I am – but weren’t experimental jetpacks real once upon a time? I remember back in the early 80s watching an installment of What Will They Think Of Next? (aside from the 9-year-old me loving the science geek angle, I always thought Joseph Campanella was a great orator, and Teelu Leek had a funny name. Hey, I was 9. :)) where they demonstrated a guy flying over a patchwork field of grass and trees using a jetpack. From what little I can recall (other than the imagery of a guy flying a few hundred feet in the air and wanting desperately to get one of those bad-ass jetpacks) they didn’t fly very far – whatever fuel was used (avgas?) didn’t last long and the flight only allowed travel for a mile or two at best. Still, it was the coolest thing I’d ever seen at that point.

At least, I’m pretty sure it was WWTTON, but there’s the outside possibility it might have been That’s Incredible!.

I seem to recall that the jetpack in Thunderball is real, although it only gave you 30 seconds of lift…

It was. They also gave demonstrations at the 1964-5 World’s Fair.

I saw a piece on this on the news a couple of years ago. The state of jet packs apparently hasn’t advanced much in forty years. You still get less than a minute of lift.

Where are Howard Hughes and Cliff Secord and King of the Rocket Men when you need them?

As Happy Clam said, there were some experiments in the '60s. Bell Textron made that one, I think. Whether it was a ‘jet pack’ depends on your definition. It used a rocket instead of a turbojet; but ‘jet propulsion’ can technically be used for rockets (e.g. ‘reaction jet’).

There was footage of a genuine Bell Company jet pack (I think they called it the ‘rocket belt’) in that movie, but the bits with Sean Connery in them used a non-flying replica of the machine - and I seem to remember that the effects, particularly the exhaust, in those scenes was unconvincing.

Those engines look like they are off-the-shelf units, but where can you buy little jet engines like that?

I want to try to make jet-propelled rollerblades.

Was the jetpack at the opening of the L.A. olypmics real or just a guy on a wire? I remember being impressed, but it has recently occured to me that it was probably a stunt.

Engines like that are used for radio controlled aircraft. If you wanted some, that’d be the avenue I’d look down.

Aviation Microjet Technology.

Fixing link.

Nope, it was real.

Designed by Wendell F. Moore, I give you the, The Bell Rocket Belt :

Yep, it was real.

The pilot was the Bill Suitor, who also worked in the James Bond film (as Mangetout said, the shots that showed Sean Connery were special effects).

rocket belt article

That memory has now been returned to full coolness. Thank you.

The heroic music on his website makes me happy. I’m a sucker for a dream - even if it does seem like a massively bad idea…