It might not do much to immediately stimulate the bload-soaked economy, but today’s Wall Street Journal does a nice job of sizing up the contemporary jetpack market. Great to see hard-working San Jose engineer Nino Amarena and his Thunderbolt Aerosystems get some ink. Amarena tells the Journal his “dream is to be the Henry Ford of rocketeers,” and we say God speed, sir! Thunderbolt is selling its machine for $90, 000, far less than some other similar jetpacks on the market, but it’s safe to say that the Thunderbolt R2G2’s technology is still being perfected. In any case, the dream endures, people! Speaking of, look for the Spring issue of Good magazine, out soon, wherein I make a fairly impassioned—and I would like to think compelling—case for the redoubling of the effort to realize such a dream. I know you are busy, President Obama, but let me remind you that as my generation’s JFK, it seems like it might be your destiny to finally make it happen.
Posted by admin on March 9, 2009 at 6:04 am
Don’t let this mouth-watering headline fool you. Because despite what it suggests Microsoft is not, in fact, working on a jetpack. Sure, they have a few other cool things up their nerdy sleeves, but as of this moment, one of those things is not the jetpack of our dreams. So Bill, if you are reading this, let me ask just one question: WHY NOT?
Posted by admin on March 2, 2009 at 6:30 am
Okay, so a couple of days ago in his Monday media column for the New York Times, David Carr wrote about, in part, Denver-born singer-songwriter Jill Sobule. Jill had the fantastic idea of asking her loyal fans to help her pay for the production of her newest album, California Years, due out now in April, thanks to those fans’ generosity. THE VERY SAME DAY Jill emailed my editor on Jetpack Dreams asking for a copy of the book. In her email, the neo-folkie attached a copy of the jetpack song she once wrote. Needless to say, the song has become the de facto theme song for JD and has made its way into the steady rotation of ye olde itunes jukebox. Thanks, Jill! Good luck with the new album and let me know when you land that ‘pack.
Posted by admin on February 11, 2009 at 9:04 am
Well, sort of. Germany’s Lars Ramke has come up with a machine that utilizes 140-foot-long hoses that can suck up water from a lake, say, and pump it into a 120-horsepower four-stroke engine. The pilot, so long as he doesn’t fly too far from the water source, can then theoretically fly up to about 50 feet in the air and at nearly 50 MPH. For as long as the water lasts! Or until he has to hit the can, whichever comes first. This video shows you all you need to know about this marvelous creation—and dig the techno-disco soundtrack, too. Now is ze time on Sprockets ven ve fly jetpacks! And for only $128, 000 you can, too!
Posted by admin on February 11, 2009 at 8:03 am
The Swiss pilot, daredevil and perhaps eventual jetpack creator, Yves Rossy, who flew like a jet plane of one across the English Channel last year, is the subject of a long and loving Popular Science profile this month. If you’ve ever so much as glanced admiringly at a bird in flight, you will find Rossy’s story extremely charming and inspiring. There’s a chance the 49-year-old air junkie will take his 121-pound invention winging from one side of the Grand Canyon to the other some time in the future. So keep your eyes on the sky.
Posted by admin on January 22, 2009 at 1:41 pm
The fine folks over at Ars Technica gave the book plenty of real estate and a real nice review today. If you aren’t familiar with their work, it’s definitely worth poking around the site. I admit I didn’t know the techno hub particularly well when they emailed to say they were reviewing Jetpack Dreams—but now I plan to make it a regular spot to visit. And not just beause they covered the book, I swear!
Posted by admin on January 15, 2009 at 8:18 am
Or at least that’s what my grandma suspects. This weekend she sent me this recent cartoon (as a jpeg in an email because she is a super cyber-granny) and bemoaned the fact that they hadn’t actually come right out and mentioned the name of the book that he is reading in the panel. Maybe that’s because he isn’t reading the book—that’s possible, of course; there are, apparently, many other books out there. But man, sure looks like it from here.
Posted by admin on January 4, 2009 at 2:28 pm
Why? Why not! It’s easy and fun—see?
Posted by admin on December 28, 2008 at 8:41 am
One of my favorite places to read about and look at cool things that shoulda been and still have not, and others that sorta were, is the blog Paleo-Future. Every time I take a peek there is something else fascinating and fantastically anachronistic being celebrated on the site. Take this circa 1800s poster in praise of forward-looking Frenchmen with hearts given over to dreams of the air. Baron Munchausen would no doubt feel very at home among these compelling and quixotic creations.
Posted by admin on December 14, 2008 at 10:57 am
Is it any wonder that we all believed we’d have jetpacks by now? I mean, really!
Posted by admin on December 8, 2008 at 2:28 pm