Photo courtesy Millennium Jet
Interest in personal jetpacks is growing as technology makes their future use possible.
When the automobile first rolled onto dirt roads in the 19th century, it allowed us to go places we'd never been, and let us get there in a matter of hours instead of days. Unlike the train, which confined people to stops and schedules, the car gave us an amazing sense of freedom. Today, our cars still give us great freedom, but in many cities that freedom is tempered by the number of hours we have to sit in traffic jams. What used to be a 20-minute drive in some cities is now a commute of an hour or more.

But there is hope -- engineers are attempting to give us back true mobility by developing personal jetpacks that will eliminate the need for roads altogether!

Just the word "jetpack" brings to mind images of Boba Fett (the bounty hunter from "Star Wars"), the 1965 James Bond film "Thunderball," and the rocket man who flew into the opening ceremonies of the 1984 summer Olympics in Los Angeles, CA. The latter two used the Bell Rocket Belt, a jetpack technology that has never gotten off the ground for extended periods of time. However, we could see some form of commercially marketed personal jetpack within the next few years. In this edition of How Stuff Will Work, we'll take a look at some different kinds of jetpacks that could give us the ability to go anywhere, anytime.