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Have you ever dreamed of flying? I’m not referring to airplanes, balloons or even hang gliders but to fly as the birds do would be simply fantastic. Good news for such enthusiasts is that there are several companies that are working hard to make such a dream a reality.

There are in fact several products either already available or being developed that will make human flight a very real possibility. Unfortunately for now it is reserved for those who are quite well off finally.

Human FlightThis was brought to my attention after reading the story of Eric Scott of Jet Pack International (Jet P.I.) who recently used a standard hydrogen peroxide-fueled jet pack to get across the 1,250-foot-deep gorge south of Denver. And while he was successful in his attempt, the downside is that his entire flight lasted only 20 seconds. The maximum flight time for a hydrogen-peroxide pack is about 45 seconds, though one company in California has recently extended that to 75 seconds by mixing in a little kerosene.

There is hope however for longer flights.

Scott Rhodes, chief operating officer with Go Fast Sports, a sister company of Jet P.I. (both are based in Denver), says they’re trying to break that barrier with a turbine jet-powered machine that lasts as long as 9 minutes in the air.

“It’s got one engine on the top, pointing backward, and two facing down to provide lift,” he explained to about the T-73 model.

The turbine engines are much more fuel-efficient than the standard hydrogen peroxide jet pack, which is really a rocket because it doesn’t use the oxygen in the surrounding air as additional fuel.

The turbine-powered machine, named the T-73, which runs on standard jet fuel, will be available in the near future for around $200,000.

That is not all. Martin Jetpack, based in New Zealand, makes a propeller-driven machine that’s really not a jet at all. I doest have a maximum flight time of half an hour at 60 mph — enough to get you to work, if you live within 30 miles — and runs on easily available standard gasoline.

You can reserve one with a $10,000 deposit, though you’ll be paying $100,000 by the time it’s delivered (when that will be was not disclosed). That doesn’t include the cost of mandatory pilot training.

Finally there is Thunderbolt Aerosystems, based in San Jose, Calif., who is selling its standard hydrogen-peroxide model now for $90,000. It says it’ll have its aforementioned hydrogen-peroxide/kerosene blend model, which lasts 75 seconds in the air, ready next summer for $98,000.

Although I have yet to hit the financial status to justify the expense of any of these machines, it is thrilling to see such inventions being developed, bringing humans closer all the time to being able to fly like the birds.


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