Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Bell Aviation's Rocket Pack (1964)

This awesome photo of Bell Aviation's Rocket Pack, demonstrated at the 1964 New York World's Fair, is featured in the book Exit to Tomorrow: World's Fair Architecture, Design, Fashion 1933-2005.

See also:
Jet Flying Belt is Devised to Carry Man for Miles (New York Times, 1968)
Jet Pack Video (1966)
Where's My Jetpack? (2007)
How Do You Like Them Apples?


Anonymous said...

Thumbs up for the Jetpack!

Anonymous said...

See, they just led us on for decades. I grew up sure I'd be getting around town regularly with a jet pack. And dammit, I still want one!

Anonymous said...

It seems that all of these "jet packs" are actually "rocket packs". I wonder if a system that actually used small air-breathing turbo-jets might prove more practical.

Jack Generic said...

Funny how the technology for jetpacks has basically gone no further than the pack that they demonstrated then in '64.

Kris McCracken said...

I remember walking home from school as a little 'un, hitting this big hill and was sure when I thought to myself "don't worry, by high school I'll have a rocket pack and won't have to climb this every day". Still waiting fellas.

Anonymous said...

The jetpack has some severe limits that writers can ignore but engineers can't.

Noise is a severe problem. And no one knows how to reduce it by much. Jet, not rocket, engines had some success but you still don't want to be around them.

Jetpacks are very difficult to control. The fliers were trained in tethers for safety and were very careful in demonstrations.

Today computers could help with the control problem but only slightly. The weight distribution is simply unstable.

The packs could have been used on the moon where there is low gravity and no noise. The gas pollution would have been trivial.

ThoughtCriminal said...

This guy seems to have made some progress with micro-turbines. Video of tethered flight: