A Vision Of Our Jetpack Future, Designed By Marc Newson

Marc Newson’s vision of a Body Jet is dually nostalgic and futuristic–much like the idea of the jetpack itself.


My only claim to fame is that I’ve flown a jetpack . . . all of eight inches off the ground for about ten seconds, with a small army of crew keeping me balanced in the air to ensure that a photo opp didn’t end in disaster. And you know what? It was exhilarating.


Click to enlarge.

That said, the Martin Jetpack I flew was unwieldy and lacked discernible “road feel” behind its powerful engines. I couldn’t imagine a future in which all of us flew to work with its giant turbines wrapped in half a car’s worth of carbon fiber, jockeying for a place to park. But Marc Newson’s Body Jet, which he designed for a French aerospace company, imagines a more reasonable future for jetpacks.

Like the idea of jetpacks themselves, it’s certainly a bit retro, with a soft-lined carbon-fiber body that looks straight out of a 1980s theme park ride. Even still, Newson’s design is sleek without being unapproachable or technologically polarizing. There’s a particular concern for comfort, with padded armrests and a retractable landing gear that supports the jetpack’s weight when it’s not in flight.

Unfortunately, Newson’s jetpack is merely a concept. It could theoretically fly for about an hour, and a patented gyroscope would keep the pack upright even if the pilot were distracted by texts or Pandora. But without a working engine inside, Newson’s jetpack becomes less a possible prototype and more an ode to an alternative timeline–an artifact of a world that almost existed. If only.

See more here.

[Hat tip: designboom]

About the author

Mark Wilson is a senior writer at Fast Company who has written about design, technology, and culture for almost 15 years. His work has appeared at Gizmodo, Kotaku, PopMech, PopSci, Esquire, American Photo and Lucky Peach