I still want a jetpack.
Today’s NaBloPoMo blog prompt sent me back to the 60s. The prompt asked this question: Pretending you have the expertise to make the product a reality, what do you wish you could invent?
I didn’t want to invent one, but I dreamed of having a personal jetpack. As a child, I watched the Jetsons. I believed, deep in my heart that I would see the day when we all had cute little space cars that turned into briefcases, and robots that helped us with our homework. And jetpacks.
I wanted to fly.
Come Fly with Me
I wanted to jump into my flying suit and strap on my Acme 2000 Personal Jet Pack . Airplanes didn’t cut it. I wanted to fly like the birds and zoom above the clouds
A lot of those early fantasy items have come true. I don’t think there are attache sedans yet, but there are lots of flying car prototypes. Here is a cool one. Technically there are robots that can help you with homework. They can even compete on Jeopardy.
I’m not the only kid who dreamed of jetpack road trips. Steve Lehto gives us a history lesson of the jet pack in The Great American Jet Pack: The Quest for the Ultimate Individual Lift Device. I don’t know – the term “individual lift device” just doesn’t hold the same romantic energy as “jet pack.” Especially when you are getting older and gravity is catching up, and lifting individual parts with devices tends to be a normal part of the day (no offense, Steve). People have built and tested jet packs for years. Justin Capra, the man who claimed to have invented the first functioning jetpack in 1956, never could provide proof that he was really first. But now, it looks like personal jet packs are going to become a very expensive reality.
Shooting for the Stars
The jet packs are bulky and not as beautiful as the ones I remember being promised to us. But it’s a beginning. Remember cell phones and microwaves and Walkmans. The jetpacks are scheduled to be out next year, so if I want one I’ll need to work on my budget. The price tag is planned to be around $150,000, if I can even get one. Apparently, the price hasn’t deterred people from plunking down $5,000 deposits.
I’m going to need a bigger budget envelope. Those stars are getting closer and closer.