Did you know that more men have walked on the moon ( 11 ) than have flown jetpacks? And that there are currently only 4 working jetpacks in the world? And that jetpacks are actually referred to as "rocketbelts" by flight cognescenti? I didn't know any of these things, but now I do, thanks to this article on slate.com about the world's first rocketbelt convention, which was recently held at the Niagra Aerospace Museum.
The featured guests were a bunch of old leathery fellas who spent their lives in the steadfast and unwavering pursuit of a dream: to rise in a wobbly fashion 20 feet off the ground and then surge forward at a speed of 6 mph, ignoring the other easier, cheaper and safer forms of transporation that society had to offer.
"Why, it seems like only yesterday that Larry "Buster" Crabbe and
I would go fishing together. Or was it whoring? I need a nap."
And if you thought comic book conventions were rife with obsessed weirdos (which they are), this convention sounds like a similarly blue-balled affair, as the article states that "the rocketbelt builders who gathered in Niagara tended to have plenty of garage space, a good set of tools, and an understanding wife (one rocketbelt builder was with his on their honeymoon). A few came with their works-in-progress in tow—none functional yet, but all promised to be "95 percent there."
Which begs the question: what is the missing 5% of a super-dangerous device?