Watch: The strange history of the jetpack

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I think there should be a (dis)honorable mention of the Pentecost Hoppicopter helicopter backpack.

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That “pre-GoPro helmet cam” may look clunky to you, but with it Tom Lennon, Bell Aerosystems’ chief photographer, and his colleagues made the greatest rocket belt film of all time-- the promo where red-shirted operators zoom around the green wilderness near Fort Niagara. More about Tom Lennon here.

At the moment, I can’t lay hands on the finished promo, but John Kuamo’o has placed a minute of the footage on You tube for your vicarious viewing pleasure. It’s stitched together from multiple flights to give the illusion that these guys are floating above the landscape without a care in the world. Instead of constantly thinking how much peroxide do I have left? only a few more seconds OH NO THERE’S THE ALARM BUZZER gottagetdowngottagetdownnow

The Smithsonian trailer looks great. It’s nice to see some familiar faces from the rocket belt world, and very nice to see some of those film clips in higher resolution than I’ve seen them before. Hal Graham leaping off the amphibious landing craft in mid-lake (with JFK watching) looks very sharp!

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