Meet the man who flies like superman and the maker of under water car

Satyen Mohapatra speaks to Eric Scott nicknamed - “Rocket Man” who has been flying in the air for more than 15 years and to the maker of concept car which can be driven underwater Swiss automobile visionary and CEO of Rinspeed Inc Frank.

delhi Updated: Feb 13, 2009 21:59 IST
Satyen Mohapatra
Satyen Mohapatra
Hindustan Times

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's superman no its Eric Scott nicknamed - “Rocket Man” who has been flying in the air for more than 15 years now.

“I feel like Superman, no one has actually seen Superman flying but I really fly and the birds are very scared of me,” says Scott in an interview with the Hindustan Times from USA.

“I have shot up to an altitude of 250 feet on the jet pack and can stay in air for about 45 seconds. We are developing a jet pack with which one can stay up for about 10 minutes,” says Scott, who has flown 600 times on jet pack.

Jet packs will be the personal travel vehicle of the future for sure, he says. Despite some people considering it dangerous , Scott, who has been a stuntman with Hollywood and a member of the Special Forces doing parachuting said, "jet packs are gaining a lot of popularity today."

Eric Scott explained, “With the jet pack I have strapped at my back I have three tanks, the centre one has nitrogen and the two on either side have hydrogen peroxide. The nitrogen is used to push the hydrogen peroxide out of the tanks into a small canister containing silver which acts as a catalyst converting hydrogen peroxide into super heated steam.”

“The liquid fuel expands 5,000 times its volume and as it comes out of the exhausts gives me sufficient thrust to lift me up into the sky generating about 800 horse power.”

There are two sticks on both arms, the right one is a throttle for going up or down and the left to rotate left and right. “When you put your hands down you go forward and when you put your hands up you go forward”

Eric said he took his first flight on a “friend’s jet pack” way back in 1993. Becoming just the eleventh pilot of back packs since 1950s, he said, “more men have walked the moon than flown jet pack.”

One of the most extreme demonstration testing the limits of what man machine is capable of he said it was the flight across 1,500 foot span of the Royal Gorge in Grand Canyon above the Arkansas river.

While carrying out such stunts he has fear of suffering pain but “it keeps me alert”. “As a stunt man after clearly calculating all the variables and possibilities at hand, one just closes ones eyes and say here I go.”

Scott is going to feature in the Discovery Channel’s new series NEXTWORLD about technologies of the future which premiers on Feb.19.

Also featuring in the programme will be the concept car which can be driven underwater. maker Swiss automobile visionary and CEO of Rinspeed Inc Frank M.Rinderknect talking to HT from France said, the car which was inspired from a James Bond movie is "so far working flawlessly".

“I love James Bond particularly Q the inventor of gadgets. People have been amazed by the car which Bond uses to ride underwater in ‘ The Spy Who Loved Me.’ But nobody dared to make it in reality.”

The electric car which moves at a speed of 120 km per hour on land and at 4km per hour underwater, took final shape last year. It is still being used primarily for events.

“Only 20 drivers have experienced it. The driver has to wear a scuba suit and mask taking compressed air from the car. Everybody is very thrilled because of the unique and special experience,” he said.

“The base car which we have used is a Lotus Elise, we could not use the engine as it had to go underwater and only use the body shell fitted with a new electric motor system to run underwater.”

“Unlike the enclosed car, sQuba is open hooded and floats on the water. Floating and navigating is easy because we are using two propellers. The aluminium chassis and plastic body of the car has enough buoyancy to keep the car afloat. For going under water, we just open the doors of the car which gets flooded and the car starts to sink. ”

Rinderknect said the car’s movement while sinking is controlled by water jets. The water jets which can be controlled by pedals under the feet of the driver also give the force to move the car backwards or forwards underwater and its speed. The car can go about 10 metres under the water at present.

The riders of squab can stay upto four hours under water, he added.

First Published: Feb 14, 2009 10:00 IST