Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2010

Jet Packs

So there are jet packs out there. They just aren't available to the masses. The idea of gas-filled backpacks came into vogue in 1920s science-fiction magazines like Amazing Stories and later reappeared in popular culture in the James Bond movie Thunderball (pictured) as well as in the comic book (and movie) The Rocketeer. During World War II, Germany experimented with pulse jet tubes by attaching them to the bodies of pilots to fly them over minefields, but the project never got far off the ground. While various attempts have since been made to make jet packs commercially available, the devices have been limited to astronauts, who use them on space stations so as not to float away. This year, however, the New Zealand–based Martin Aircraft Company reportedly signed a $12 million joint-venture deal to begin the manufacture of jet packs that would eventually be available commercially. That news is sure to make one indie band very happy.