Feeds

Commuter jetpacks offered: $100k, August delivery

Mountain View rush hour goes ballistic

Application security programs and practises

Despite a lifetime of waiting we don't yet have our flying cars, our rayguns, our space holidays, nor even our robot/brainchipped-monkey butlers. However, from August - if the manufacturers are to be believed - ordinary consumers will finally be able to buy a (marginally) useful jetpack, for just $100,000.

The "Thunderpack™", produced by Thunderbolt Aerosystems uses a novel "dual fuel" system to increase flight time somewhat over that offered by rocketpacks of the past, which could seldom stay up for more than 30 seconds.

Here's the obligatory YouTube footage:

Topped up with 98lbs of explosive high-test hydrogen peroxide and 4lb of ordinary kerosene, the Thunderpack™ R2-G2 - expected to be available from August - can stay aloft for up to 75 seconds ("a 300 per cent increase over what other systems offer") and carry its pilot almost three-quarters of a mile. The whole system weighs 182lb when fuelled up, and can lift a person and baggage weighing up to 180lb total.

Thunderbolt CEO Carmelo Amarena reckons that his Mountain View-based company is "closer than ever to fielding a rocket belt 'for the masses'... such a vehicle could be used for a host of defense, commercial and personal purposes... even overcoming those snail-paced commutes... THUNDERPACK can be ordered now and delivered at a price under $100,000."

Despite his enthusiasm about the rocketpack, Amarena does seem to acknowledge its problems. Three-quarters of a mile range and 75 seconds endurance isn't vastly impressive in a system weighing nearly 200lb and requiring frequent, hefty top-ups of corrosive, explosive hazmat fuel.

But Thunderpack™ is just the beginning. Amarena also says he plans next-gen kit which will use jet engines rather than rockets, thus achieving much better fuel efficiency. Thunderbolt says:

Amarena has identified engines and manufacturing designs for a dual engine Thunderjet™ and foresees developing a system within a year capable of providing up to 35 minutes of sustained flight. Amarena foresees an eventual Thunderjet™ market price in the $100,000 unit range.

Which will be a lot better. Assuming a jetpack can be made which doesn't burn the wearer's legs off and deafen everyone in the parking lot, there would still be a few little issues; air-traffic control and safety not least among them.

It's all good old Mountain View fun, but we'll take a bet against being able to soar over the traffic jams to your office window by jetpack any time soon. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.