It’s an invention of extremely poor timing. Gasoline prices have never been higher, provoking raging inflation in all sectors, while the economy in general is falling into a pit of despair. At the same time, greenhouse gas emissions from fossil-fuelled engines are now acknowledged to have brought about global warming to such an extent that ice is disappearing from the Arctic Ocean, and climate is becoming a source of crisis for humans around the world. Furthermore, air travel has proven to be unsustainable, with airlines of all sorts moving toward bankruptcy at supersonic speed.
So, what did New Zealander Glenn Martin decide to do to confront these problems? He decided to invent a gasoline-guzzling jet pack that costs $100,000, so that people could fly away and become little airlines unto themselves.
If that combination of features running exactly contrary to efforts to save civilization from crashing isn’t enough for you, consider the noise. The inventor’s wife describes it as “very loud, very noisy, very hot. It was like a beast that roars.” She says not to worry about the noise, though, because it feels so good once you’re flying.
Well, what about the people on the ground? Have Mr. and Mrs. Martin thought about how those of us living on the ground might feel about having to listen to the roaring noise of rich people flying around over our homes? This jetpack would the jet ski of the air.
What practical need is there for a personal jetpack, anyway? For what need would anyone have to strap an engine to their backs and fly away? To get to one of our 21st century levitating cities in the clouds?