Best Not-So-Cheap Thrill - 2012
In the 1920 novel The Skylark of Space, the hero, Dick Seaton, accidentally spills a solution containing "element X" onto a copper tub that is surrounded by an energy field from a nearby "whatssittron" particle accelerator. The copper tub goes shooting through the wall and into the sky, and Seaton uses the technology to develop the first jet pack. The Rocketman jet pack that debuted in Fort Lauderdale on April 1 is almost as cool. The Jet-Lev Flyer JF 250 has "a powerful four-stroke engine, an astonishing 250 horsepower, and water nozzle reaction force to achieve stable, controlled flight," according to its makers. In other words, everyday people can now fly 30 feet in the air via a jet pack that is worn like a backpack, powered by two streams of water, and connected by a hose to an engine floating on the water. It's basically the same technology as a Jet-Ski. A "unicycle-style saddle and leg trapeze" assure safety and comfort. Shell out $250 for a "flight experience" or $4,000 for a full day of jetting.