I'm looking to make something like a jet pack and I'm looking for super cheap thrusters to carry humans than normal chemical oxidized ones that are used in spacecrafts. I read that ionic thrusters can't provide enough thrust to even left themselves in earths atmosphere. Other alternatives like photon beam propulsion or EM drive is way out of scope.

Any ideas would be appreciated.

  • $\begingroup$ @uhoh There is a ...questionable rule that home-produced rocket fuels are offtopic. It is communicated that the site doesn't want to help others in suicide, the real reason is that it has grown enough old to produce an inner circle working on the elimination of the newer members. But, not even this rule forbids anything with amateur rocketry, it disallows only home-created fuels. $\endgroup$ – peterh Oct 2 '18 at 11:06
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @uhoh Then it was formulated more widely as it was originally talked in the related meta post. Wonderful. $\endgroup$ – peterh Oct 2 '18 at 11:12
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @peterh If we wanted to eliminate newer members, encouraging their homebrew rocket experiments would be by far the easiest way. $\endgroup$ – Russell Borogove Oct 2 '18 at 16:37
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Ekagra: Your question could be interpreted two different ways: (1) at ground level, like a sci-fi jet-pack, or (2) in orbit, like the Manned Maneuvering Unit. Could you please clarify? Thanks, my thoughts on keeping the question open depend on the answer. $\endgroup$ – DrSheldon Oct 2 '18 at 21:23
  • $\begingroup$ @Dr Sheldon ground level $\endgroup$ – Ekagra Sinha Oct 3 '18 at 6:18

This depends on what performance you want.

If you want to fly from ground level, you can use electric fans and batteries to create a hoverboard. This is relatively easy and cheap to build, but getting it balanced is a difficult control problem.

Actual jet packs using rocket engines do exist, but have extremely limited endurance (on the order of 1 minute). These are as difficult to control as hoverboards: all small VTOL aircraft have the problem of 'falling off the thrust column'. When your platform leans over too much, you can't point the engines straight down any more and you lose lift, leading to a crash.


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.