Feeds

Commuter jetpacks offered: $100k, August delivery

Mountain View rush hour goes ballistic

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins
Robo-sub scans freezing waters, rocks warming models
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU
Doctors find new Digitillnesses - 'text neck' and 'telepressure'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
prev story

Whitepapers

Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.