- Hardcover: 240 pages
- Publisher: Chicago Review Press (May 1, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1613744307
- ISBN-13: 978-1613744307
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,198,570 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Great American Jet Pack: The Quest for the Ultimate Individual Lift Device
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Gilligan flew one on the island. So did James Bond, fleeing from some baddies. So did Professor John Robinson, while he was lost in space. First thought up by sf writers back in the 1920s and turned into reality in the mid–1960s, the jet pack was the latest in a long line of personal flying devices that included flying shoes, wearable rockets, and a flying platform. It almost immediately entered the public consciousness, becoming a sort of pop-culture icon, the device that was going to completely change the way people got from place to place. It hasn’t yet, but as Lehto says, the story of the jet pack—of, indeed, the quest for the perfect personal lift device—is really part of the larger story of “man’s dream of flying.” It’s a fascinating tale, full of wild ideas and serious science (with, yes, a little kidnapping, torture, and murder), and Lehto tells it very well, focusing on the people for whom creating a functional small-scale flying machine was not just a puzzle to be solved but a calling. --David Pitt
"While personal-flight prototypes edge from pipe dream to purchase order, this well-documented history provides a satisfying substitution." —Kirkus Reviews
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The author starts with the early aspirations of science fiction writers and proceeds to tell the stories of a dizzying array of "Individual Lift Devices" and rocket men:
- Flying Shoes and Hovering Platforms
- The Hiller and de Lackner Flying Platforms
- The Rocket Belt
- The Bell Rocket Men
- The Sud Ludion and the Pogo
- William P. Suitor: Rocket Man
- The Jet Flying Belt
- The WASP
- The Pretty Bird
- Ducted Fan Lift Devices
- Hal Graham
- Jetman: Yves Rossy
The author concludes with a "State of the Jet Pack" address in which he sums up the current efforts and the problems that still need to be addressed.
"The Great American Jet Pack" has some great stories and I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the history of the innovations around the "jetpack".
*This book was well formatted for reading on my Gen4 Kindle device*
Lehto starts with the Bell Rocket Belt, the 1960s invention which allowed a man to fly without an airplane... if only for 21 seconds. Unfortunately, the brute force needed to fly a person without lifting surfaces narrowed the possibilities down to hydrogen peroxide rocket motors. And even THAT was limited and less than idea. Lehto also looks at the Thiokol Flying Belt, the Hiller platforms, WASP and the jet pack. The author's style is very engaging, technical enough to explain the problems involved without making the layman's eyes glaze over and is well-woven. Even though I've already done some reading on this topic I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
Illustrated with photos and drawings.
For in depth information review: 1940 to 1986 STOL/VTOL, VTOL Aircraft,VATOL Rocket Belts US development.
AFWAL-TR-86-3071,VOL 1 Author Bernard Lindenbaum
Sincely Scott Watson
There is some chapters on other personal lift devices most were designed for the us military. These were mainly ducted fan types which defeated the very reason these machines were built, ie far too heavy for a man to wear on his own. This book is an interesting
read if you are interested in aviation
The best part of this book was the cast of characters involved in the development and promotion of these individual flying devices. However, while the author has written a nice research paper, he is not a biographer, and I felt like this book could have been so much better. It would have been really strengthened by a ghost writer who could bring these interesting men more to life. That being said, I plowed through this book, and really enjoyed learning the history of my dream ride.