Rocketman Crosses Colorado Gorge

Dennis Faas's picture

Remember the 1991 film, "The Rocketeer", where a young pilot uses a jetpack prototype to become a masked vigilante and win the heart of Jennifer Connelly? That scenario isn't as far-fetched as it once was, given that an American stuntman recently used a jetpack to soar over Colorado's Royal Gorge.

The stuntman in question is one Eric Scott, who recently appeared on CBS' Early Show and a variety of local cable channels after making his daring leap. Scott has been testing jetpack devices for some 16 years, and was confident that he wouldn't plummet to his untimely death when he straddled the Gorge above the Arkansas River earlier this week. Despite an enormous gulf between the two sides -- 1,500 feet across and 1,000 feet down -- Scott made the trip safely.

For his part, Scott never had any doubt. Speaking to local CBS station KCNC-TV beforehand, he announced, "You're going to see me on the other side. This isn't an 'Evel-Knievel, get-a-lot-of-media-out-and-just-screw-it-up' gig, you know."

Not everyone watching was so sure. Although one spectator could be heard remarking "It's going to be sweet; it's going to be an epic ride," another nervously quipped, "I hope he survives." (Source:

Videos of Scott's successful leap have surfaced on the web and the footage is absolutely remarkable. Scott's jetpack relies on hydrogen peroxide-filled tanks that spew steam, propelling him across great distances very quickly. This is no nineteenth-century locomotive or riverboat ferry however; the steam emitted by Scott's jetpack is virtually invisible, even as it launches him over massive gorges like the one near Canon City, Colorado. (Source:

Scott refused to even use a parachute in case something went wrong. "It works beautifully every time -- 800 flights, the machine has never failed on me," he remarked.

Scott's flight, lasting just 21 seconds, set a new record for jetpack use, and will almost undoubtedly draw the attention of commercial or military interests.

Is this Ford, GM, or Chrysler's answer to their financial woes?

| Tags:
Rate this article: 
No votes yet