It could be because rocket belts aren’t for sale. Or because prototypes can weigh upwards of 100 lb and only carry enough fuel to stay aloft for less than minute. Now, one of these obstacles has been removed: Rocket belts are for sale.
Mexican start-up Tecnologia Aeroespacial Mexicana (TAM) offers the custombuilt TAM Rocket Belt for $250,000, including flight and maintenance training. With a full tank of hydrogen peroxide, the belt weighs 124 to 139 lb (the bigger the pilot, the bigger the belt) and stays airborne for 30 sec. TAM’s sole competitor, Jetpack International, Colorado, sells what it calls “the world’s longest-flying jet pack.” The Jet Pack H202 flies for 33 sec., three seconds longer than TAM’s model. The H202 weighs 139 lb and is competitively priced at $155,000 flight classes and all.
“If something goes wrong, you can get killed,” says Jetpack founder Troy Widgery. “Thirty-three seconds of fuel makes an inexperienced pilot twitchy.” Widgery plans to release the T73 Turbine by the end of the year. The $200,000 model will burn jet fuel and fly for 19 min.
“With 19 minutes, you can take things slower, ” says Widgery. “You aren’t spending the whole flight thinking about where to land.” Meanwhile, TAM is working on a propane-burning jet belt.