Well, it's official. The future is here. There is a company in New Zealand, the Martin Aircraft Company, that has a personal jet-pack commercially available right now! [I put their demonstration video on here so you can see this neat little thing in operation].
They are selling these for about $100,000.00 each and that comes with 15 hours of flight training at their facilities before they'll let you fly off. Classified as an "Ultralight" aircraft, this jet-pack does not require any special pilots license to operate so in theory you can get one and start flying over all that stalled traffic on your way to work right now. The only restrictions are that it can not carry passengers and the fuel tank is limited to 5 gallons, making the range limited to around 100 miles.
The Martin people are currently in final negotiations with a country who wants to remain anonymous until the deal is finalized. They are interested in acquiring an initial 500 jet-packs for search and rescue operations.
Hey, if you are in New Zealand and would like to take one for a quick spin, drop in and for just $40,000 they will be happy to give you the needed training and let you give it a try.
All kidding aside, there are several practical applications for this and it's great to see the entrepreneurial spirit is still alive and well. You may not see many businessmen jetting their way to work in the mornings, but you may see these paroling our beaches and finding lost hikers. It's another step forward into the future for all of us.