3. have never been demonstrated to function in "jet pack-ish fashion"
Except for all those times that it HAS been demonstrated to function in a "jet pack-ish fashion"..... Videos are available on their website.
the martin approach doesn't work (yet?).
I think a few companies like Bell, Robinson, Eurocopter, Kaman, Sikorsky etc. would disagree. Rotary wing aircraft are quite common, and work well. This jetpack is just a small helicopter using ducted fans -- there is nothing particularly special about it. Again, it's just the control system that is innovative in that their aim is to allow a layman to fly it. If you want to argue that that aspect isn't possible, that's fine, maybe it wont be. But by arguing that the machine cannot fly to a reasonable height for a reasonable distance, you're essentially saying that helicopters don't work.
As for an emotional investment in the 'coolfactor' -- I don't think so. I don't actually think it has a 'coolfactor', it's a stupid machine that Martin has wasted a lot of time and money on, which he will likely never get back.... That doesn't change the fact that it works.
OK, maybe I need to reiterate my statement that I know engineers working on the project, and have seem it fly with my own eyes. It could match the specs that you're talking about YEARS ago, but it didn't even have the ballistic parachute at that stage, so no one was stupid enough to actually TRY it just to make morons like you believe them. A large part of an engineers job (a professional engineer, not a fitter/turner...) is to determine the performance of something before a such a time that it can actually be demonstrated safely.
The fact is, that the part of the machine that determines these specs you are so hung up on is fairly conventional -- there is no aspect of it that you or anyone else couldn't prove to be incapable of achieving the stated specs if that were the case. It's just a small helicopter with two ducted fans instead of blades. Really a very basic machine. What makes it different is the CONTROL system, which enables people who are not expert helicopter pilots to safely fly the thing. This HAS been demonstrated -- they had a journalist flying it around a field after a couple hours instruction.
A healthy dose of skepticism is a great thing, but you're just being a bonehead.
how many do we ever actually purchase?
Some. Is that not enough to make it newsworthy?
I hope you are intentionally pretending to be thick....
In case you aren't, the reason you can't see videos of people flying it at 8000 feet is that it has not completed all safety requirements yet, as I said in my first post. They don't hire expendable test pilots to fly the thing, they are professional engineers that don't really want to risk their lives any more than needed.
The machine itself is obviously capable of performing to those specifications -- it would be trivial to show otherwise on paper for what is at the heart a relatively simple device (it's the control systems that are the hard bit, and flying at four feet is just as difficult in this regard as flying at 8000 feet). All the technical specs are on the site -- thrust, fuel capacity, fuel consumption -- why don't you work it out for yourself?
"I just want to be a good engineer." -- Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computer, concluding his keynote speech at the 1988 AppleFest