What do you imagine when you think of "the future." I know for a fact that jetpacks will rank near the top of the list.
A personal jetpack 30 years in the making is about to come to a store near you. In about 18 months the Martin Jetpack, heralded as one of the world's most anticipated inventions by Time Magazine, is expected to be publicly available. Commercial users (medical aid providers, security / traffic monitoring systems) are likely to be flying the jetpacks by the end of this year, and shortly thereafter it will be made available to anyone with ~ $100 000 to spare.
The pack is basically two supercharged leaf blowers welded together, which operates on standard gasoline and generates about 200 horsepower from its 2 L V8 engine. Video below shows the pack soaring 1.5 km (5 000 ft) in a remote-controlled dummy test flight of the pack on May 21.
This jet pack is huge. It weighs about 250 lbs and can lift an additional 600 lbs. This is just under the limit to avoid strict US aircraft safety / licensing regulations. The operator controls the pack with two joysticks: left for pitch and roll, right for yaw and throttle. A display centered between the controllers shows the operator flight and engine information. The manufacturer claims that controls can be mastered in an hour of practice, and of course, it comes with a parachute for emergency situations.
So. Anyone care to pitch in to my I-Really-Want-A-Jetpack fund? Accepting all donations.