Rocket Pack

Circa 1909




Specs:

Price $1190 Sold

  • 16 lbs 14” W x 23” H x 7” D

Inventor:

Steam powered rocket pack designed by Bernard Maets, a little known but very prolific inventor of the 19th century.

Type and Function:

To fly like the birds has always been a dream of mankind. No less for Bernard V. Maets who’s vision of flight led him to experiment with rocket packs such as this unit.  Reportedly capable of short hops due to the limited fuel and steam capacity, this unit made several manned flights in 1909 and 1910. 

When the unit is fully charged the valve on the center cylinder is opened and while it is mixing with the secret gas in the small cylinders and rocket tubes, the operator dons the unit and prepares for a wild ride.  The pressure gauge will ramp up and when sufficient pressure is built up the rocketter squeezes the control unit and the hop starts until the pressure again drops and the operated returns to earth, frequently with a jolt.

Recovery Site:

Mr. Maets held on to this particular unit as it was found in his Wisconsin shop, all be it in pieces.  Assembled based on drawings in one of Bernard’s notebooks allowed for reconstruction.  Further research is on going.

Back Story:

Learn all about the first test flight.

Principal Investigator:

This object has been recovered, studied and restored by Ed Kidera. Initial images show the unit without the harness, control throttle and display stand.
Discover the reality

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