Hold on tight
Blame it on the superhero movie craze if you want, but there's something about seeing a human being take flight that strikes us in the heart of our primal "let's-stay-on-terra-firma-where-it's-safe" instincts.
However, as the technology evolves and the word "jetpack" comes up with more and more frequency, you can bet the results are going to be captivating. How do we know? Well, a lot of these futuristic flights of fancy are caught on video.
Here you'll find a handful of videos from 2015 that have stuck out from the usual water-based jetpack follies and instead show us something truly death-defying, jaw-dropping, vertigo-inducing, or some combination of all three. Welcome to the future - we hope you don't have acrophobia!
Note: Pause the video before clicking to the next slide, otherwise it will keep playing!
'Jetmen' take to the skies of Dubai
Extreme sports guild XDubai know how to show off. In this video, daredevil-slash-aeronauts Yves Rossy and Vince Reffe's unique jetpacks are less "rocket strapped to the back" and more "an F-16 and a hang-glider had a baby, and that baby was raised by Sam Wilson."
The footage, shot both from a distance and up close with GoPro cameras strapped to the Jetmen themselves, is in eye-searing 4K resolution. If your monitor can support it, or you have access to YouTube's new VR viewing solution, prepare for an impromptu adrenaline rush, (or motion sickness, depending on your fortitude.)
It's a bird! It's a plane!
Call us double-dippers, but the Jetmen Dubai team deserve the extra shout-out in this equally-stunning, equally-high-resolution stunt, in which the jetpack pilots pull off some incredible shots next to a freaking Airbus A380.
This aerodynamic crossover with Emirates Airlines looks like something from the climax for an Iron Man movie, complete with near-misses, barrel rolls, and a behind-the-scenes look to convince us that this is real-life, and not CG.
Soaring in New York like a superhero
It's hard to follow up half-jet, half-human hybrids, but JetPack Aviation's take on personal aviation is the very spitting image of what we think about when we hear the word, "jetpack."
No wings, no runways, no attachment to the ground, no water hose - just pure, simple jetpacking glory. Able to carry a person nearly 10,000ft (approx. 3,048m) into the air and still fit in the trunk of your car, watching JetPack Aviation's creation in action is truly something out of science fiction.
Making it look easy
What makes this clip work is how nonchalant the whole thing is. Sponsored by energy supplement company Go Fast Sports (no relation to a certain Sega mascot), the way pilot Nick Macomber casually flies up into the air, performs a few maneuvers, and even lands with a light twist, makes defying the laws of nature seem as natural as riding a skateboard.
Between this and the famous Red Bull-sponsored skydive by Felix Baumgartner in 2012, we're convinced that NASA and energy drink companies should consider teaming up as soon as possible for some truly radical and bodacious aerospace engineering ventures.
You can do this next year
So far, the requirements for one to break free of the gravity's cruel grasp have been to be part of A) a daredevil team, B) an engineering firm, or C) an energy drink promotion. But what about the Average Joe who wishes to take flight? That's where this final clip comes in.
Granted, the Martin Jetpack commands a hefty $150,000 (£99,226, AU$212,977) and is originally designed for use by emergency responders, but seeing as this setup plans to be commercially available by the end of next year AND already has a simulator program up and running, this is about as close to the real thing we'll get for a while, and we're pretty stoked about that.