The Inquirer-Home

High-flyer creates jetpack

Long-promised invention finally takes off
Thu Oct 30 2008, 16:32

EVERYONE HAS DREAMT of flying at least once in their life – but now thanks to the genius of a commercial airline pilot, this could be a possibility.

When we say flying, we don’t mean Peter Pan stylie, neither do we mean on a plane, but if you fancy zooming around with a jet pack strapped to your back – then this one’s for you.

Stuart Ross says that he has always loved flying, but the kind aboard an airplane just isn’t enough for this pilot.

Ross gathered together his washing up bottles, sticky backed plastic and double-sided tape heading for the bottom of his garden in Horsham where he would spend the next four years and £100,000 building the Rocket Belt.

Testing has been ongoing for a while now – near completion Ross is ready to fly away shooting 1,000 feet into the air at 60mph.

Ross explains that, "It’s designed, quite simply, to strap on and fly."

The device is actually made up of a pair of stainless steel fuel tanks, a gas tank, a rocket motor and two rocket nozzles and is powered by 90 percent pure hydrogen peroxide – weighing in at almost 60kg (130lb).

The dangerous but exciting take-off is described by Ross as an experience where, "The adrenalin rush starts three hours before you fly it and finishes when you go to bed.”

Boffins have been working on creating jetpacks for more than 60 years – however none have come close to this one.

Ross’ design is based on the 1950s by Bell Aircraft Company engineer Wendell Moore model, which was developed in the 1960s for the US army as a wishful method for moving troops around battlefields – although this never really... ahem, took off.

While this is an exciting prospect for Ross, who will soon be taking to the skies, it will be a long time before the public can get its hands on one – let’s hope it is sooner than they predict. µ

The Guardian


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