Why Aren’t We All Flying Around in Jetpacks?

By | May 1, 2019

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David Mayman, (Company Founder of Jetpack Aviation in California, flies up the Goodwood Hill displaying his JB11 JetPack at Goodwood on July 14, 2018 in Chichester, England. Source: (Photo by Michael Cole/Corbis via Getty Images)

If we were to believe the comic books of the 1920s and 1930s, the TVs shows of the 1940s and 1950s, and the movies of the 1960s and 1970s, we should all be flying around in our own personal jetpacks by now. These personal flying machines, in convenient backpack form, were staples of science fiction and futuristic pop culture. Jetpacks exist in real life. We’ve seen them at the Super Bowl and in that James Bond movie. So, what happened? Why aren’t we all flying around in jetpacks?

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Who wouldn't want to zip around like this? Source: (stripes.com)

A Russian Prototype

The first patent issued for a jetpack was for a device designed by Aleksandr Fyodorovich Andreyev, a Russian inventor, back in 1919. This personal-sized, oxygen and methane-powered jetpack had two wings, each about three feet long. This jetpack, however, never got off the ground. In fact, it never made it off the drawing board. Even though the inventor acquired a patent for it, the prototype was never built or tested.