“Portable Personal Air Mobility System” – UPDATE – POLL

I know that Fr. Finigan would agree that these are long over due.

[UPDATE: On Twitter Fr. F asked for a poll.  Be careful of what you ask for.]

From Military Times:

Jet packs are on their way to a battlefield near you

It’s 2021, and although I thought by now there would be flying cars, cities on the moon and the ability to teleport from my bed to my couch instead of walking, I guess I’ll settle for a jet pack, or as DARPA is calling it, a “Portable Personal Air Mobility System.”

According to a solicitation first reported by Task & Purpose, “These platforms could serve a variety of military missions, enabling cost effective mission utility and agility in areas such as personnel logistics [and] urban augmented combat.”

This isn’t the first time in recent memory that the U.S. military has considered affixing a rocket or wings to the backs of service members and shooting them into the atmosphere. In 2019, Special Operations Command sought to develop “individual lift devices” and found a partner to make it happen.

California-based JetPack Aviation is working on an ILD turbine engine system that is expected to carry special operators 200 miles an hour, for up to 10 minutes, so they can fly from base to battle, hair whipping and lips flapping in the wind. Exhilarating.

Luckily, the DARPA request also gives me some hope that a system for civilians could one day follow, particularly this line: “When deployed, the platform will be designed with simplified operations in mind, so that someone unfamiliar with the platform could be educated in its safe and effective use with relatively little training.”

Is there anything more American than a bunch of untrained hooligans attempting to commute via sky to their offices post-COVID?


Fr. Finigan, His Hermeneuticalness, asked for a POLL.  I don’t know what sort of poll, but he ASKED for one.  So, here’s a poll.

The registered and approved here can post comments.  The rest of you can take a flying click to some other fascinating site.  But you can still vote.  You can, this time, pick TWO.

I’m opening this one up to multiple choices, just to make it funner.

“Portable Personal Air Mobility System”?

View Results

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Semper Gumby says:

    From: Semper Gumby

    To: DARPA

    Subj: Personnel Delivery System

    1. https://youtu.be/CK8tyQZVfcc

    2. A careful viewing will reveal the System is unaffected by EMP. Spare parts can be procured with an axe.

    2. Further testing of the System will require copious amounts of Birra Nursia. And a jeep and Sherman tank. And access to Area 51. And a shark with frickin’ laser beams attached to its head.

  2. JonPatrick says:

    From: DARPA Personal Mobility Logistics Section
    To: Mr Gumby, Semper
    Re: Personal Air Mobility Device

    After reviewing the video documentation for the recommended personal air mobility device, the DARPA Personal Mobility Logistics procurement team has rejected this avenue as a personal mobility solution for the following reasons:

    1. While it is true that logistics support under adverse conditions such as an EMP would be simplified, there is the risk that locations under supplied with forest growth e.g deserts present a procurement problem. The system would need to be deployable under many theatre scenarios.

    2. The system as demonstrated does not appear to have the necessary flexibility for locating personnel deployment as required by the specifications provided for personal mobility systems.

    At this time the agency does not plan to pursue this proposed solution; however we will keep your submission on file should our requirements change in the future.

    Jon Patrick, Col USAF
    Deputy Assistant Chief
    Logistics Planning
    Personal Air Mobility Device Group

  3. teomatteo says:

    I wonder in the light of SCUBA if PAMA is the best acronym Personal Air Mobility Apparatus.

  4. Semper Gumby says:

    From: Semper Gumby

    To: DARPA Personal Mobility Logistics Section, Col Jon Patrick USAF, Deputy Assistant Chief Logistics Planning, Personal Air Mobility Device Group

    Subj: Personnel Delivery System

    Ref: PAMDG Ltr dtd 17 Mar 21.

    1. Thank you for your time and attention to our proposal.

    2. Additional research and development by our team has been conducted to address the issues raised in Ref: “The system would need to be deployable under many theatre scenarios.”

    3. We have made progress in reducing the effects of the Arctic climate by procuring and altering tuxedos, note the enhanced personal mobility:


    4. To meet the challenges of operating in the desert we have dispatched a procurement team to the Lost Oasis of Zerzura, this video documents their progress:


  5. JPCahill says:

    I agree with the old lady Michael Flanders once quoted who pointed out that if God had meant man to fly, He never would have given him the railways.

  6. Kathleen10 says:

    I would have selected “I can have one but under no conditions should anybody else have one” but you didn’t offer that. I have waited for jet packs all my life because as a kid jumping out of trees with a towel wrapped around me like Superman never worked and it was a huge disappointment to me. It’s a wonder I didn’t hang myself. I know I would LOVE a jet pack, but I still don’t think we should have “self-driving” Teslas (one just drove itself under a semi) again, and I never thought drones a good idea, so, dang it, no to jet packs. One look around tells us why. But I’m sure they’re coming anyway because nobody listens to me.

  7. Marion Ancilla Mariae II says:

    I don’t know anything about turbines or DARPA. I do know that I’ve wanted one of those things ever since I first saw them on “The Jetsons” or “Johnny Quest” or one of the many other cartoons I used to watch with my brothers back in the 1960s, growing up in what is today called Silicon Valley. Fast forward to many years later – a co-worker who served in the Reserves told me that he saw an actual demonstration of one of those things. This would have been about 1995. The big problem, he told me then, and why they weren’t being used on the battlefield as of 25 years ago (according to him), is that they hadn’t been able to solve the problem of how to stabilize the body of the jet-pack wearer once his feet come off the ground. For the demonstration, the wearer – technically known as “the guy” – was tethered to some assistants in ATVs who somehow were able to prevent him doing an unstoppable series of somersaults in the air until he falls to the ground and gets hurt. Something to do with what happens to a helicopter if the tail rotor gets shot off – the chopper begins to spin wildly around the main rotor, and usually crashes. Same with the guy wearing the jet pack. If they’ve solved that problem, (other than with ATVs and tethers) then I am so there.

  8. GHP says:

    From: Acme

    To: DARPA

    Subj: Personnel Delivery System (PDS)

    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jcneEHukZE&t=271s

    2. We at Acme have been working on the PDS for many decades and have finally got all the bugs worked out.

    3. We qualify for both the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. Additionally, we are a Small and Minority-owned business that is disadvantaged due to residing in an environment isolated from the mainstream of American society.

    Looking forward to your Award Letter,
    Your Humble Servant, etc.,

    Wyle E. Coyote
    Test Pilot and

  9. Charivari Rob says:

    I voted “No. Just no!” as closest match to my thoughts.

    My specific thoughts would be
    A LOT more testing, and maybe not even then. Didn’t help Boba Fett any, did it? Fierce and able fighter/commando/warrior, so much so that he’s the leader of a society of fighter/commando/warriors, so much so that a Dark Lord of the Sith outsources work to him – and HIS jet pack led to him getting taken out by a blind guy flailing around with a stick!

  10. Semper Gumby says:

    GHP: Nice touch with the coyote-as-minority angle. Word on the street is that for a Personnel Delivery System DARPA is going in a different direction:


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