Rocket Belt: Jetpacks blast off again

Gotta hand it to the jetpack — as crazy and dangerous as the idea of a personal aircraft is, it still manages to captivate people enough to try and make it a reality. First it was Skywalker Jets with its goofy-looking and questionable flying apparatus; now it's a company called Tecnologia Aeroespacial Mexicana, which is offering a Rocket Belt. From the looks of it, though, "Rocket Backpack" would probably have been a better name.

According to the website, TAM's Rocket Belt is fully tested and can fly a pilot up to 300 pounds. Apparently the U.S. military researched the technology in the 1960s but quickly abandoned it upon realizing the jetpack could only hold enough fuel for 20-second flights, making it impractical for combat. TAM picked up the idea a couple of years ago and has brought it to market.

That is, if you consider selling them for $250,000 each a market. That's even more than the Skywalker model, although your quarter mil gets you flight training, maintenance, and "24/7 expert support." Guy answering that phone = easiest job in the world.

Check out some pics of the jetpack in action after the jump.

TAM, via Electro-Plankton