Jet Pack

JJet Pack: You strap a jet engine to your back and go screaming into the sky. Perk: no one hears your cowardly cries over the screech of the jet. You get maybe thirty minutes of fuel, so don’t waste time looking for a better parking spot. Companies that are developing and demonstrating them, such as Martin Jetpack, are focusing on the emergency response market to start with.

Tech Level: High. These are just emerging now and I expect they’d be nearly impossible to fly without sophisticated computerized controls. Best genre fit: Near Future Military SF.

Appeared In: The Rocketeer. I know what you’re thinking: that wasn’t a jet pack, it was a rocket pack. However, it was fueled by alcohol only, and carried no oxygen supply. So, despite the name, it was a jet pack, and according to TV Tropes it even had a compressor stage. Conversely, when I ransacked the internet looking for fictional jet packs, nearly everyone was actually using rockets. Go figure.

For Your Plot: The Martin Jetpack has a gas tank the size of a small car’s and burns through it in about half an hour, so giant plot holes destroy the space-time continuum if your hero gets two hours of flight time out of a fuel tank smaller than a motorcycle’s.

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