Ever since The Jetsons, and probably much sooner, science fiction fans have been waiting for their own, personal jetpacks. The 60’s came and went and we landed on the moon, but no jetpacks. The 70s and we again explored the moon, but still no jetpacks. The 80s gave us the space shuttle and affordable personal computers, the 90s heralded the information age, when the average person gained access to the internet and dot-coms were built and destroyed. The noughties saw a paradigm shift in computer tech with touchscreens and advances in both communication and information storage along with an upheaval of society. `Yet, through all this, still no jetpacks. Now, here we are and it’s almost 2020, seventy years after the dream was born and where are our jetpacks?!!
Well, thanks to British inventor Richard Browning, they’re now available at a luxury store near you… assuming you live in central London. Browning has spent the last few years inventing and developing a gas-powered personal jetpack comprising five engines. The unit can generate 1050bhp of power, fly 90 kph, with a maximum altitude of 3600 meters. And this wonder of technology is now available for a paltry £330,000 at Selfridges London.
If you’re interested in the development of this suit, Browning has some very interesting videos on YouTube about the prototyping and testing (hint, he found that leg thrusters don’t help, unless, perhaps, you have your own personal AI to help you calculate the thrust vectors).
Browning has said he doesn’t see this technology being used for long trips, and currently, it can only carry enough fuel for something like 10 minutes. However, we all know that where there is a will, there is a way, and once the first person demonstrates something is possible, others will follow. I, for one, foresee various groups attempting to develop their own versions, including other independent inventors, military (especially US DoD), rescue forces, and perhaps even construction. Not to mention adrenaline junkies.
Furthermore, the first version of this to use electric drone technology will truly open the floodgates for development. Although that might be a little while away. Browning chose gas turbines for very important reasons. Nevertheless, we have been shown the way and I can’t wait to see what the future of personal jetpacks brings.