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Jet Pack: The Rocketeer takes off, sort of


Related Entries: Future Tech : GPS : Vehicles


How will people get around in the future? Motorized unicycles? Off-road Segways? Skateboards with treads? Reasonable contenders, all, but much too land-based. No, we're waiting for Rick Herron to finish up his real-deal, so-wild-you-just-have-to-see-it jet pack before we commit to anything else. Researching jet-pack technology and discovering a stark absence of progress outside of G.I. Joe comics in recent years, Herron took it upon himself to design and build a personal flying contraption that could produce enough thrust to lift a person off the ground vertically — without burning said person's ass off. After taking his credibility to a whole new level by calling his company Skywalker Jets, he built a prototype that weighs about 90 pounds and is said to be able to carry a "pilot" with a weight of over 200 pounds, flying for about 5 minutes, according to the website. Production models, should they ever exist, are planned to have a range of 4 miles. The pack also has a built-in GPS unit — so it'll be easy to locate the giant pancake that was once your body after you slam into the ground at terminal velocity, one assumes. From the thrown-together look of the jet pack and the cheesefest music on the site, you might think the whole exercise is an elaborate practical joke, but the prototype pack was real enough to solicit a bid over $10,000 on eBay (although that was short of the reserve price). Herron estimates that a final working model, should it be approved by the FAA, would cost about 200 grand, or about the same as two Tesla Electric Roadsters. Decisions, decisions.



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