So, where are all of the promised jetpacks? We cannot be certain who made the promise, but somebody did, and we want fulfillment immediately!
The concept of jetpacks is ingrained in our cultural mind, so surely it is only a matter of time until they become a reality. Right?
Let’s find out.
How do jetpacks work?
Jetpacks, also known as rocket belts or rocket packs, are unique equipment used for airborne transportation. The jets might either be composed of gases or liquids. Jetpacks are primarily back-mounted devices with handed controls, and their concept has been around for some time.
In the 1960s, several attempts were made to make them a reality, and there has been a revival of interest in recent years. In the 1960s, jetpacks were introduced to the public through blockbuster films like as “James Bond: Thunderbird.”
Jetpacks exist in a variety of shapes and designs, but their value in the actual world is frequently significantly inferior to how they are represented in science fiction. This is due to several factors, including limited fuel, aerodynamics, gravity, and the inadequate adaptation of the human body to flight.
Jetpacks have been far more successful in space, allowing humans to navigate outside of their ship with ease.
To date, jetpack functional prototypes may be divided into four groups.
Among them are, but not limited to: –
- Rocket-powered jetpacks
- Turbojet jetpacks
- Hydrojet jetpacks
One of the oldest ideas is liquid-fueled rocket packs, with one of the earliest conceptions created as early as 1919. Alexander Andreev, a Russian engineer, created the contraption with the idea that soldiers may use it to leap over walls and trenches. The design was granted a patent, but it was never constructed or tested. Later, the Nazis examined the concept for their Himmelsstürmer (heaven stormer) program, but they did not make significant progress before the war’s conclusion.
Bell Aerosystems created the Bell Rocket Belt, a two-jet backpack powered by hydrogen peroxide, in 1961. In reality, rocket packs powered by hydrogen peroxide have traditionally been a common choice for jetpack design. They are powered by the superheated gases emitted by the breakdown of hydrogen peroxide “fuel” This solution is highly effective but has a short functioning lifespan. The Bell jetpack had a maximum flight time of 21 seconds.
However, jetpacks fuelled by hydrogen peroxide are comparatively lightweight and intrinsically safer. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, further versions of hydrogen peroxide rocket packs were created, including, most famously, a variation on the Bell Rocket Belt that was flown during the opening ceremony of the 1984 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles, United States.
Bell’s jetpack appeared in James Bond as well.
Among the most potential jetpack types, those that employ turbojet engines are by far the most promising. Typically powered by kerosene and jet fuel (and sometimes diesel), these jetpacks are more efficient, can fly for longer distances, and have more sophisticated technical and design requirements.
In most instances, the addition of lift-generating surfaces, such as permanent or retractable winglets, is highly advantageous for this type of jetpack.
There is an additional type of jetpack known as hydro jet packs. As the name indicates, they utilize high-density or concentrated fluids, often water, to generate the same power and propulsion as other systems’ exhaust gases. These “jetpacks” often require some type of flexible pipe attachment to continuously feed the necessary liquid.
Where can I find jetpacks?
Since the 1960s, jetpacks have come a long way. Maverick Aviation, Inc.
This is because water is heavy and required in large quantities, making it impractical to carry enough in a backpack. Clearly, this imposes serious constraints on these jetpacks, although in principle they could operate longer if they had a consistent supply of water.
These jetpacks are also capable of underwater propulsion.
Are jetpacks truly secure?
Jetpacks were formerly the exclusive domain of crazy daredevils and fantasy flicks. However, after more than half a century of development, jetpacks may now be coming into their own.
In addition to their short flight length, safety has been the primary cause for this delay in commercialization. Or, at minimum, their perception of safety.
While it is true that early jetpacks were regarded too speculative to be taken seriously, current jetpacks are somewhat more promising.
Jetpacks might be used safely with proper training, expertise, and regular equipment maintenance. As you may imagine, though, one of the major problems with jetpacks is the inherent dangers connected with being propelled into the air while attached to a blazing motor.
There are no genuine failsafe or emergency measures available if something goes wrong; it is difficult to wear both a jetpack and a parachute, for instance (the parachute must often be linked to the jetpack itself), and the jetpack’s heat may quickly burn adjacent objects. This is why jetpack pilots typically fly over water or very near to the ground.
Even with the advantages of contemporary engineering, accidents can still occur. The most important event in recent history is stuntman Vincent Reffet’s death in November of 2020.
It is unknown why his jetpack failed, however it appears the failsafe parachute did not deploy in time to save him.
Other incidents have also been seen on video, although thankfully none of them were tragic. For instance. In 2018, one scientist, Dr. Angelo Grubisi, plummeted catastrophically into the ocean due to a malfunctioning jetpack.
Along with other factors, they have prompted many people to question the real value and safety of the technology.
Why don’t we all already got jetpacks?
As discussed earlier, the primary issue is because it is not straightforward to create a jetpack. You cannot just strap a little rocket to your back, take off, and anticipate a safe landing. In contrast to how beautifully it works in movies like The Rocketeer, the actual scenario is quite different. The human body is not well-suited for flying, for starters.
Additionally, the user and jetpack must contend with gravity.
To identify a workaround and ensure the jetpack is genuinely functional, all possible options must be explored. For extended flight (which the majority of people would likely desire), you need a method of fueling and properly exhausting any hot or hazardous gases or liquids away from the user and adjacent persons and structures. As a person cannot carry masses of weight on their body, the size and overall weight of the jetpack must also be appropriate. For bigger vehicles, such as aircraft and rockets, these restrictions are not as tight.
For these reasons, most subject-matter experts anticipate that jetpacks will be utilized for search and rescue, firefighting, medical services, law enforcement, and the military well before they become generally available for recreational usage. Also, it is quite unlikely that we will ever see mass-produced jetpacks that suit everyone in the near future. Custom jetpacks and jetpack experiences will be increasingly likely in the future. The latter really already exists, but more on that later.
Despite all of these obstacles, jetpacks have been built, as we have shown. There are also a number of fascinating and potential jetpacks in development, as well as ones that are now available for testing.