Ever since the last flight of the Concorde, the priorities for air travel have changed from going faster to going more efficiently. An EU-sponsored study called LAPCAT has been trying to shake things up with a hypersonic aircraft called the A2, which would take 300 passengers anywhere on Earth at over Mach 5.
This is the McDonnell Douglas/General Dynamics A-12 Avenger II. It only ever got to the mock-up stage (and that was back in the 1990s), but the canopy of this stealthy, futuristic fantasy attack aircraft can be yours in time for Christmas if you act right now.
Generally, tanks are not designed with the ability to fly, much less the ability to fall through the air from a couple thousand feet up and land safely. You can strap a bunch of parachutes to them and hope for the best, but a much more effective (and much more awesome) way to do it is to use rockets instead. Just ask the Russians.
It's one thing to just call yourself "Jetman." Yeah, you've got a wingsuit with jets mounted on it, yawn. But when you can actually fly in formation with jet aircraft, well, okay, then you can go ahead and call yourself Batman, Superman, Iron Man, or Jetman. You've earned it, dude.
We all want jetpacks, but the only way they'll ever be affordable is if they're good for something besides being a plot device for James Bond movies. Martin Aircraft, the guys who have one of the few commercially available jetpacks in existence, have some thoughts about why these things might actually make sense.
DARPA's out hunting for a way to launch satellites fast and on the cheap, and they're thinking that a souped-up commercial jet is the way to go to get most of (or at least some of) the way to orbit without having to rely on a ground-based launch system.
The Marines' version of Lockheed Martin's F-35 can take off, hover in mid-air, and land vertically. But it's not a helicopter, it's a supersonic jet fighter, albeit one with some absolutely unreal capabilities.
Most helicopters do their business with one giant set of rotor blades. Double that to two rotors, and you can go with slightly smaller ones. Sixteen-tuple that, and you can use tiny little rotors instead: the e-volo multicopter proves that it's not just possible, it may even be a better way to go.
When it comes to aircraft, bigger is better. As size increases, so does efficiency, which is the thinking behind the monstrous Airbus A-380. But to be really efficient, you'd need to go bigger. Way bigger. We're talking an aircraft so large that other aircraft could land on it, in-flight.
Nowadays, travel is all about getting to your destination as fast as you can while minimizing invasive groping, but this was not always so. In the olden days, travel was all about the experience, and Tiago Barros' Passing Cloud concept brings that back with this cluster of giant balloons that you can ride on.