Sometimes you wish a news was true, especially when it comes to single seater personal air transport or jet pack. Do you remember the James Bond movie Thunderball? I wanted to have my own jet pack so bad after I watched Sean Connery use one to escape the bad guys! And now this may be a dream come true: Jetpack Adventures, based out of the Galleon Resort & Marina, is the first company in the nation to offer the unique experience. A second company, Sundance Watersports, launches will offer the service at Hawk’s Cay Resort & Marina near Marathon (link).
There was also the jet pack from Spy Kids and the one used in an Agent Cody Banks movie which used two big propeller-like engines. But it seems jet packs are not the next thing anymore; according to an article by Anna Dietrich, chief operating officer of Terrafugia Inc., published on CNN: ‘Personal aviation, where pilots operate small private aircraft, offers an alternative with the potential to get you where you need to be quickly, safely and on your own schedule, but it, too, comes with limitations. We founded Terrafugia in 2006 to develop a solution to many of the barriers to the more widespread use of personal aviation: Our work led to the development of a new kind of aircraft, which we call the “Transition.”‘
I have read about this a long time ago but apparently, things are moving on well. The article says: ‘Unlike any other airplane on the market today, the Transition can fold its wings on command, shift power from the propeller to the rear wheels and drive as a fully street-legal vehicle on any road in the United States. Designed to meet the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, it is the first light airplane to incorporate automotive-style safety features such as dash-mounted airbags, a passenger safety cage and energy-absorbing crumple zones. For added safety in flight, there is a full vehicle parachute for use in case of emergency.’
Note that two European projects of personal air transport system (PATS) based on Personal Aerial Vehicles (PAVs) are currently in development: PPlane and MyCopter.
I love the idea but you will have to land at an airport. My preference still goes to jet packs. Plus, there is an important thing to take into consideration: São Paolo had so much congestion, it has become the city with the highest number of helicopters in the world, which means the air traffic is now as congested in the sky as it is in the streets… Not counting a number of helicopter accidents. What will happen if everyone has its own PATS?
I always thought a jet pack was a very cool personal air transport, but it could also be useful and save lives when it comes to escape a high-rise building fire. But no ‘personal’ jet packs yet, and no antigravity flying cars either like the ones seen in Blade Runner or the Fifth Element… On Wikipedia I have found a great quote about the complaints of the non-existence of flying cars:
The December 30, 1989 Calvin and Hobbes comic strip depicted an early instance of the “Where are the flying cars?” idea:
“ Hobbes: “A new decade is coming up.”
Calvin: “Yeah, big deal! Hmph. Where are the flying cars? Where are the moon colonies? Where are the personal robots and the zero-gravity boots, huh? You call this a new decade?! You call this the future?? HA! Where are the rocket packs? Where are the disintegration rays? Where are the floating cities?”
Indeed, where are they all?!?