Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The lawn dart effect

While the floating car is yet to be invented, a "practical" (sort of) jetpack is finally here. Though it has thus far flown only six feet in the air and sounds like a hypertrophied lawn blower, the inventor, who has devoted 27 years to the project, is planning a 500-foot trip within six months. 
The weight of the engines and body of the flier sits lower than the rotors to create a pendulum effect that discourages the contraption from tipping upside down and creating what might be called the lawn dart effect.

“People come up and go, ‘Is it safe?’ ” Mr. Martin said. “Safety is a relative thing. We think we have done a lot to make this by far the safest jetpack ever built.” But, he acknowledged, “It’s not a high bar.”

He added, “I’ve got to get my head around the fact that at some point, somebody is going to have a very bad experience.”
Onward progress marches... Could the Make-a-Wish foundation hook me up?

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