Will we ride jetpacks in our lifetime?

In the 1930s, jetpacks were considered sci-fi fantasy. Eighty years later, and they're still not a reality. But, with the latest advances in technology, will jetpacks be a part of our lifetime?

Will we ride jetpacks in our lifetime?
  • Trying to stay ahead of the curve? You can now get a degree in flying cars (for real).
  • Jetpacks are in the spotlight because they’re becoming a reality. This one goes up to 150mph. You can also enter this contest to help build the ultimate jetpack.

Though a futuristic dream, jetpacks are already a part of our lives. When we see Tony Stark take to the skies or Silver Surfer on a flyboard, riding a jetpack feels like a possible reality. We’ve been talking about having jetpacks in the future even from the 1930s. In fact, it was the James Bond movie Thunderball in 1965 that made people crave a future where jetpacks were the norm. If our calculations are correct, they should have been a reality by now. The field of innovation for jetpacks is moving slowly. Current products are either not a complete jetpack (mostly rocket boards or aqua-packs) or too expensive. Why is this?

Flying Police in the year 2000

French Postcard from 1899 showcasing “Flying Police in the year 2000”

First things first – what is a jetpack?

A real jetpack is a rocket belt or a rocket pack that uses jets of gas to propel the wearer through the air. Hypothetically, the speed of these jetpacks is supposed to be ultra fast and a great form of speedy transportation. But, this technology was a far-fetched idea nearly five decades ago and, until now, we hadn’t seen enough in this field of innovation. In fact, the so-called jetpacks we see today are actually rocket packs with a significant difference.

As described on HowStuffWorks:

The difference between a rocket and a jet is significant. A jet intakes air, compresses it with a turbine and pushes it out the back, mixing it with fuel and combusting it in the process. The oxygen in the air is a key ingredient in the combustion phase, so a jet needs a constant air intake to work. A rocket carries all its fuel and oxidizer (which may be liquid oxygen or some other chemical), mixes them together and combusts them. No air intake is needed.

Flyboard V3 Complete Kit By Zapata

Flyboard V3 Complete Kit By Zapata

Do we need jetpacks?

Let’s be honest, if we had a device that allowed us to fly through the air, we’d fly everywhere. But, beyond the thrill, jetpacks can:

  1. Speed up transportation
  2. Avoid road traffic (but contribute to air traffic!)
  3. Make it easy for workers to clean skyscraper windows from the outside
  4. Allow firefighters to reach floors on tall buildings
  5. Be a new form of entertainment for families
  6. Provide ultra-fast military transport

How close are we to real jetpacks?

If you’re after a real jetpack, it’s going to take a little time. But, we are slowly getting there. If not in terms of affordability, there are plenty of systems that are getting us close to the real thing:

Zapata Flyboards – If you’re into water sports, these flyboards give you a jetpack-like experience in the water. The Flyboard connects to the jet discharge of your PWC and uses the thrust to propel the rider up to 43 feet above or below the surface of the water. The rides last for a few minutes which give just a taste of what it’s like to fly through the air. Although, you’d be a bit more Aquaman than Ironman.

James Bond Jetpack by Jetpack Aviation – They have been so close to designing the realest jetpack. This year at CES 2018, they launched the James Bond Jetpack. Considered the world’s only true jetpack, founder and CEO David Mayman explains: “I can take off in here if I wanted to, and I can land vertically, which is different to a lot of the wind suit concepts you hear about, where you have to jump out of an airplane.” However, for now, it’s only being considered for military ultra-fast transport.

Jetpack Aviation Test at CES 2018

Jetpack Aviation Test at CES 2018 / Martin Fuentes for Daily Mail

While those are the forerunners as of now, we are also looking forward to the Boeing-sponsored GoFly competition. They’re looking to transform jetpacks from an aviation novelty to an everyday tool for everyone. Slowly but surely, jetpacks are on their way to becoming a reality.

How to get your futuristic transportation fix

As of now, personal transportation is taking a huge leap with new innovations. Whether it’s a hoverboard, one-wheeled vehicle, or even an electric bike, there are a lot of devices to pique your curiosity.

Whether or not we’ll ever be able to own a jetpack is still unclear. Even if we have a good jetpack, it’s likely going to be so expensive that:

a) It will always be a novelty at a theme park for occasional entertainment.

b) It might be considered to be available for government use only.

Living the dream of a real-life Ironman is far-fetched but not impossible. Nevertheless, we can’t wait to see what the future of human flight has in store.

Ashley Timms is an editor at Gadget Flow where she gets to write about the most incredible products in the world. When she’s not writing, she’s producing fine art dog photography.
Join the Discussion

You Might Also Like

Cool self-care Valentine’s Day gifts to treat yourself with

Cool self-care Valentine’s Day gifts to treat yourself with

There’s no better time to show yourself a little TLC than Valentine’s Day. Yes, medical experts agree that regular attention to our physical and mental health increases motivation and gives us more energy when it’s time to be productive. So,..
Master & Dynamic MW09 review: ANC earbuds with live performance-like audio

Master & Dynamic MW09 review: ANC earbuds with live performance-like audio

Like most people these days, I’m on the go a lot. So a good pair of wireless earphones is a must for me. And that’s why I was happy to try these premium earbuds for a few days. They boast..
10 cool tech gadgets that are coming soon

10 cool tech gadgets that are coming soon

If you like to stay ahead of the trends and know what new gadgets are on the horizon—months before their release—you’re in for a treat. We’ve got a sneak peek of the hottest, most exclusive tech gadgets coming soon. From..
Innovative AI gadgets coming up in 2024

Innovative AI gadgets coming up in 2024

Is your newsfeed full of articles about AI and the products that use it? Then you know AI is poised to drastically change how we work and live in ways we still don’t know. And that’s fascinating! In the meantime,..
Campfire Audio Orbit review: the everyday earbuds with a fun, sonic profile

Campfire Audio Orbit review: the everyday earbuds with a fun, sonic profile

Are you searching for audiophile-quality earbuds that you can use every day? Then check out the Campfire Audio Orbit. These TWS earbuds transmit realistic sound without the need for DSP. When listening to music or taking calls on the go,..
Nightside NS01 personal task lamp review: this bedside reading lamp has a targeted spotlight

Nightside NS01 personal task lamp review: this bedside reading lamp has a targeted spotlight

Looking for a bedside lamp that’s as good for reading as it is for setting the ambience? Then check out the Nightside NS01. This stylish bedside reading lamp has its own spotlight and won an A’Design Award. As a homeowner,..