How soon could we be jetting off to the office like Iron Man?

The idea of the jet pack goes back to the 19th century but it didn’t become a reality until the 1960s. Could it soon become part of the mainstream, asks Steven Cutts

Wednesday 25 November 2020 11:28
<p>Browning &nbsp;at Yeovilton air base: the future looks bright for jet-suit travel</p>

Browning  at Yeovilton air base: the future looks bright for jet-suit travel

All of a sudden, jet packs have become a reality. A concept that seemed to be little more than fantasy has entered on to the world stage and the speed of progress is startling.  A Russian inventor by the name of Alexander Fedorovich was probably the first man to propose a rocket-fuelled device that might enable a pilot to take to the sky and fly under his own thrust. 

Decades ahead of his time, Fedorovich never saw his concept get off the ground and it would be another 50 years before the first real jet packs began to appear.

The American company, Bell Aero Systems, patented the so called “bell rocket belt” in 1962. Early rocket-propelled jet packs used hydrogen peroxide as a mono-propellant. This very unusual fluid could then be persuaded to break down into steam and oxygen purely by running it past a catalyst and the thrust provided was enough to keep a grown man in the air for just over 30 seconds.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in