Fufill human's dream of flying

From [Wired Science]

If there’s one enduring iconic image of the techno-utopian world of tomorrow, it’s the rocket belt. For three quarters of a century, comics, films, TV, and books have told us that in the future we’d all be rocketeers, getting around via personal jet packs.

Well, now it is the future, and we’re surrounded by devices and technologies that seemed inconceivable just a generation ago. And yet when it comes to something as simple as rvunning errands or going off to work, we remain firmly rooted to the Earth, the promise of the rocket belt just a bit of failed nostalgia.

It’s not like we haven’t tried. Under a US Army program called “Operation Grasshopper”, a private company developed a rocket belt that actually worked. The device used hydrogen peroxide to produce superheated steam, which provided the thrust to lift the operator and propel him through the air at speeds up to 40 miles an hour. President Kennedy even saw one demonstrated at Fort Bragg. The only drawback: the flights lasted only about 15 seconds.

Without much progress in extending flight times, rocket belt funding dried up. But for some, the obsession continues. Today, Eric Scott is the world’s only professional rocket belt pilot, making 40 flights a year at events all over the country… at about 25 seconds per flight. He’s the top dog of a group of die-hard devotees still working to get us all up in the air.