First, I apologize for being late today, but the internet was down - where is Al Gore when you need him?
Anyway, a few days ago the Jet Pack Show was held at the Hiller Aviation Museum in California (of course). The first thing that struck me was the sheer number of jet pack products available on the market today. If you think that a few minutes in sub-orbital space for $ 200,000 bucks is expensive, then spend your money on a jet pack ranging in price from $ 155,000 to $ 250,000 for a machine which will allow you to fly at 60-70 miles per hour for approximately 30 seconds.
Unlike the VirginGlactic flights these you can repeat. Since the first Bell Rocket Belt in 1953 adventurous inventors keep trying to build a self-contained self-propulsion unit to strap into and fly away like Rocket Man in the movies.
In classic understatement speak Jetpack International founder Troy Widgery is the first to point out the drawbacks of current short-flight rocket belts. "If something goes wrong, you can get killed," Widgery says. Really? I guess I hadn't thought about that!
Jetpack International plans to release it's $ 200,000 jet fuel burning bodel, the T73 Turbine, by the end of the year. This baby gives you 19 minutes of flight time. Yet another manufacturer, TAM, is working on a propane burning jet belt, but we don't know when it will be available.
It seems to me that going from inert hydrogen peroxide as a fuel to Jet A presents some posterior dangers, if you wnat to fly longer and farther that's the risk you will have to take. Anyone for leather? It ain't for the faint of butt, that's for sure Hersch!
The Jet Pack Show features James Bond style products featuring Jet Packs, the Go Fast Energy Drink and some amazing stories. On display were all kinds of flying machines devoted to introducing individuals to the world of vertical flight. Some of the displays were of ducted fan flying machines, others jet packs and rocket packs, something for everyone.
Ah, there is nothing like the world of aviation.
Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch!
For once you have tasted flight
you will walk the earth
with your eyes turned skywards,
for there you have been
and there you will long to return. -- Leonardo da Vinci