Good to know the emergency parachute works! David Murphy reports on the still mythical (but not for much longer) personal jetpack from Martin Aircraft, for PC Mag:
Were only life as cool as The Rocketeer, we’ve often asked ourselves: Flying around the sky with a huge, flame-spewing propulsion device perilously strapped to our backs. It would sure cut down the evening commute… and fry most of our pants.
Well, the $100,000 Martin Aircraft jetpack is but one step closer to actual reality, thanks to a recent and successful test of the system’s emergency parachute.
But let’s back up a second. The personal jetpack is, sadly, nothing like the comic book hero-turned-Disney-movie. It doesn’t spew flames out of its rear to propel users into the air, but the tested version of jetpack does carry enough fuel for a 30 minute flight or so. It’s powered by a water-cooled piston engine that blasts air downward to generate lift.
Martin Aircraft has already tested the 250-pound, carbon fiber jetpack for a full seven-minute flight. Which begs the question: What happens if the engine stops working? At that point, one’s dreams of soaring through the skies would turn into an Icarus-style nightmare, complete with an unhappy, $100,000 hole in the ground to finish the journey…
[continues at PC Mag