back to article Commuter jetpacks offered: $100k, August delivery

Despite a lifetime of waiting we don't yet have our flying cars, our rayguns, our space holidays, nor even our robot/brainchipped-monkey butlers. However, from August - if the manufacturers are to be believed - ordinary consumers will finally be able to buy a (marginally) useful jetpack, for just $100,000. The "Thunderpack™", …

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I'm still thinking of The Rocketeer...

...now there was a good movie, if ever I saw one.

Imagine what the world would be like today if Howard Hughes were still alive!

Oliver.

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Maximum weight

"and can lift a person and baggage weighing up to 180lb total" = just under 13 Stones.

Have they just ruled out 99% of their target audience?

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Anonymous Coward

three quarters of a mile?

That's about the crow's flight for my "commute". Don't think the neighbours would appreciate the melted tarmac and clouds of soot and smoke as I catapult myself skyward...

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IT Angle

Didn't anybody tell them...

....that credits don't work when they scroll down.

Guys, that's why Hollywood makes 'em scroll up!

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Joke

It'll never fly

"...and can lift a person and baggage weighing up to 180lb total"

How many Americans weigh less than 180lbs??

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Stop

The masses ?

"98lbs of explosive high-test hydrogen peroxide for my jet pack"

Well, that's what I told the policeman, anyway...

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Coat

I need one

I will be hopping along now.

"According to Amarena, such a vehicle coul be used for a host of defense, commercial, and personal purposes, including support of military missions, disaster relief efforts, border patrol assignments, and even OVERCOMING THOSE SNAIL-PACED COMMUTES."

http://thunderman.net/Thunderbolt_Press_Release.pdf

/yes mine's the red colored jet pack. Thanks.

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Alert

R2-G2?

I'm surprised George Lucas isn't up in arms about that (I do believe copyright law covers things with names intentionally close to copyrighted brands, such as Tommy Highfiver or Microsuft) - then again, they could be trying to lure in the massive Star Wars fanbase as a potential market.

Might be fun to try one out though...

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Flame

Ancient tech strikes again.

And another British success story of the 1950s gets exploited by the Americans.

(Hydrogen peroxide and kerosene was at the heart of British rocketry, and even launched the only all-British satellite from Woomera.}

Although the reports I've seen suggest that there is a slight problem in the US market: you can't get hydrogen peroxide in less than a truckload. Which invokes all sorts of hassles in the regulations on storage. And it was usual for the British workers to work in pairs, one with a running hosepipe to put they other out when the hydrogen peroxide started a fire.

Can you imagine the paperwork over that, if it happened today?

And besides, it's just a fancy steam engine. (Hot steam, flames, what other icopn could I use?)

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Black Helicopters

Actually

First up.. remove the portable wheels from your arse...

Second make sure no critters are lying around... and all combustible material is kicked away using a low cost henchman... who can be fried for the bbq

Finally build up the guts to press the 'fire' button... but wait... it was just a brain fart. Finally 'fire' again and allow your fried lacky to quicky cut two test flights together and wheyhey...

Bobs your uncle and the guy flies... although not very high. I guess it is the 180lb limit kicking in.

Now why do I feel these would be well suited to the mountainous terrain of Afghanistan. Feed these to your friendly bearded native and hear them coming a mile away....

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Stop

But...

How do you stop?

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Rocketeer ?? Rocket Ranger more like ....

http://www.cinemaware.com/clsgame_rr.asp

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Anonymous Coward

Easy to scoff..

..but that is sooo absolutely the future of travel. Just give it 30 years.

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I'm thinking more of Ghostbusters

Dr Ray Stantz: You know, it just occurred to me that we really haven't had a successful test of this equipment.

Dr. Egon Spengler: I blame myself.

Dr. Peter Venkman: So do I.

Dr Ray Stantz: Well, no sense in worrying about it now.

Dr. Peter Venkman: Why worry? Each one of us is carrying an unlicensed nuclear accelerator on his back.

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Coat

cool

can they make it to fit in with mandalorian armour?

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Alert

Sounds dangerous...

Is anyone else worried that the credits end with "in memory of..."?

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3/4 of a mile in 75 seconds?

My car will do better than that. Didn't cost $100,000 either.

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Stop

So what happens when I get to work?

Will I have to take a bath in cologne to cover up the scent of hydrogen peroxide and kerosene once I get to work? and would my daily commute be like a real life game of those silly internet games where you try to avoid things in the air and bounce off things on the ground to get the maximum distance possible. And how do I fill up at work to get home? Would I need a tank of the aforementioned hydrogen peroxiede and kerosene in my cubicle? And what if I have to do most of my journy on the bus or subway? How would the police, home land security or your average joe feel about that?!

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@ Oliver

Great minds think alike, mate. This story just made me go and order The Rocketeer for a not unreasonable fiver!

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Happy

Why not use a cel phone

Seen on the promotional web site:

"Marketing and promotion experts are constantly tasked with finding a way to get attention. This job has continually gotten more dificult as more companies compete for attention of customers, partners, press and other audiences - the same old gags don't work anymore and response is hard to measure. You will be undoubtedly the topic of discussion after a rocket-powered human helps carry your message through the air."

IPhone are sooo old hat...

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jetpack man

just look up jetpack man on youtube or somthing.. not sure if its the same company tho...

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Joke

You can do it!

I noticed that Rob Schneider was cameraman # 1. It would have been appropriate for a loud "YOU CAN DO IT!" right before take off.

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When the fuel runs out....

...does it gradually loose power or does it just stop and drop unfortunate commuter like a stone?

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Stop

@But...

"... how do you stop?"

You don't need to. The ground will take care of that /for/ you.

(Remembering that line about how a fall, even from a great height is never fatal - it's *stopping* falling that really hurts...)

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Paris Hilton

so we're discussing the limited flight duration

and I'm saying, "it's only 75 seconds. that could get nasty." to which my co-worker replies:" Depends on how fast that 75 seconds goes..."

My response: "about 75 seconds.."

now I thought of a way this could be fun-if you could add a parachute, then boost for altitiude and pop the chute back down...except this thing doesn't get enough height nor carry enough payload. It'd barely carry me when I was in shape fifteen years ago..now I'd just torch my arse trying to boost.

Just like I tell the electric car folks. Don't bother me with concepts and companies and "breakthroughs" until you can give me 100 mile range at an average speed of 70mph between charges/refills. Anything else is just a toy for people with waay too much money (usually raised by someone else to get them started or helped along) and not nearly enough brains.

whatever happened to that Mountain View company that was building the two propellor persona aircraft? Last I saw they were making "RPV's" and no more human carrying craft.

PH icon embodies the same mindset of the Tesla buyers, the enviro nazis with the old-designed SMART cars (priced at $28K and *not* the revised 08 models) and people with enough disposable income to get into the GM electric car program.

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Silver badge
Happy

RE: Ancient tech strikes again.

Actually, the hydrogen-peroxide and kerosene mix was probably first tried in anger by the Nazis. They eventually settled for hydrogen-peroxide (T-Stoff) and a methanol-water-hydrazine (C-Stoff) mix to give more endurance for the Me.163 rocket fighters. These had an awesome climb-rate, but only eight minutes of power, after which they became just gliders. One of their big drawbacks was that excess fuel often got sloshed together upon the usual bumpy landing (it used a belly-skid to safe weight and space), often with disastrous consequences. A no less nasty drawback for the pilots was that the fuel was highly corrosive and many who survived landing crashes received acid burns to their exposed skin. Wonder what happens if you have a bumpy landing with Thunderbolt jetpack, does it all go bang?

For that weight, can't we have helicopter backpacks instead, like the ones Action Man or Dan Dare used to have?

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Dead Vulture

They're hitting the ground like bags of wet cement

Was I the only one who thought of Daffy Duck and his famous "Yikes and away" and the crash that proceeded? 3/4 of mile high explosives in the hands of any nut with 100K to burn, to quote Less Nesman of WKRP "They're hitting the ground like bags of wet cement. Oh the humanity!"

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Pirate

@ Richard

Don't worry, your fall will be broken by the ground. Works every time.

"Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to pay our last respects and farewells to this morning's Darwin Awards nominees..."

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Alert

I knew that this technology existed...

I also heard that only around 2 people in the world could actually pilot the things. It's supposed to be incredibly difficult. And, of course there's the idea of strapping about a hundred pounds of rocket fuel to you back and lighting it.

I *really* don't think this is a good idea.

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Test flight was using ground effect?

Doesn't ground effect kick in under a certain height? Or does that only apply to winged craft?

I'd like to see a test flight of over 50m in altitude. Until then all those rockets throughout the galaxy will have to remain unassembled*.

* a very thinly veiled reference to 'Jet Pac' on the ZX Spectrum. Just in case you didn't get it.

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Flying bus?

Here's a thought...have that Moller guy put a "flying bus" together, and then I'll use this jetpack to climb aboard and disembark.

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Ed

At 75 seconds...

...a large black umbrella pops out and you are expected to land just like Wyle E Coyote.

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Happy

"Bobs your uncle" ??

"Finally 'fire' again and allow your fried lacky to quicky cut two test flights together and wheyhey... Bobs your uncle and the guy flies... although not very high."

hmm... Is that a brit thing or did you just interject some random nonsense?

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Pirate

Same idiots, different medium

ballistic uncoordinated wankers, coming (more like, crashing) soon to (into or onto) a location near you...

great, the people who don't know how to drive, will now be failing to fly. can't wait. on the plus side, watching one of these idiots crash into a building, a billboard, or a passing helicopter, or better yet, being attacked by a largish bird, would really brighten up my day.

i always thought it was only a matter of time, before the human race introduced its own Darwinian selection mechanisms, this time at the top of the socio-economic ladder. too bad they didn't get to Dubya before he got into power.

"i have a little list, they never will be missed." one can dream, can't one?

was initially going to go with PH icon, because penguins are too smart to mess with a hundred pounds of hazmat, and BillG and Real Steve are too old, but Mr. Jolly seemed more appropriate.

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Quicker to walk

It takes about 15 mins to walk 3/4 mile, I reckon it'll take more than that to fuel the beast and don it. Then there's the small matter of what you do at the other end with the empty thing. Call up the wife to bring the car to collect it (I say wife because no woman is going to be stupid enough to waste her time actually using it).

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Silver badge

Re: "Bob's your uncle"

The term "Bob's your uncle" is Brit and Aussie slang for "...QED", or "...and that's all there is to it", or "...and off you go, it's done." So that sentence really means, "Allow your fried lackey to quickly cut two test flights together, and that's all there is to it."

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Pirate

But

But what about the noise , it would probably sound like a Manchester United F.C. football crowd going both ballistic and hoarse at the same time after a 10 to 0 straight win over Arsenal F.C. match to clinch the F.A. Cup at a full house Wembley Stadium to put it mildly !

Me thinks your entire neighbourhood to retain their sanity and hearing would all issue an ABSO after just one flight !

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Anonymous Coward

Can carry a payload of 180lb...

.....typical American then

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Paris Hilton

Darwin

Knowing the propensity of USA citizens for bidding to win the Darwin prize, I am just waiting for said citizens to try flying inverted!

Splat!

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Go

Alternative Seasonal Market

They're targetting the wrong market, should set up a booth at Klosters.

Enough people with more money than sense.

Strap 2 skis to your feet.

Strap jetpack to back.

Bend over.

Point uphill.

Press fire.

No more queues!

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Alien

too much trouble

Any decent human being knows that the secret to flying is to throw yourself at the ground and miss it completely. This is easily achieved by getting distracted just before impact.

fro more information. read the douglas adams books. it's all explained in detail.

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Tim

Commute?

You'd have to drive all the way to the nearest car park and fly the Jetpack to the front door of the office given it's short range. Only really useful if there is a busy road between the car park and work...and people don't mind scortched paintwork on their cars.

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