science

How soon could we be jetting off to the office like Iron Man?


A

ll of a sudden, jet packs have become a reality. A concept that seemed to be little more than fantasy has entered on to the world stage and the speed of progress is startling.  A Russian inventor by the name of Alexander Fedorovich was probably the first man to propose a rocket-fuelled device that might enable a pilot to take to the sky and fly under his own thrust. 

Decades ahead of his time, Fedorovich never saw his concept get off the ground and it would be another 50 years before the first real jet packs began to appear.

The American company, Bell Aero Systems, patented the so called “bell rocket belt” in 1962. Early rocket-propelled jet packs used hydrogen peroxide as a mono-propellant. This very unusual fluid could then be persuaded to break down into steam and oxygen purely by running it past a catalyst and the thrust provided was enough to keep a grown man in the air for just over 30 seconds.



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