AVIATION

HAVE WE INVENTED A LONG-DISTANCE JETPACK YET?

Martin Aircraft in New Zealand built the prototype that’s closest to allowing you to jet to work. A fan-propelled, rotary-engine-powered jetpack with 200 horsepower, the Martin Jetpack (not pictured) keeps steady altitude even if riders’ hands leave the controls for a sip of coffee. “It’s ridiculously easy to fly,” says Mike Read, VP of sales at Martin.

AMAZON PATENTS WAREHOUSE BLIMPS WITH PACKAGES DELIVERED BY DRONE

There is a structure hovering silently above the city. Buoyant and robotic, it's the store where everyone shops—and a store that no one ever visits. Summoned by the press of a button and a signal sent through the air, merchandise is prepared for flight and delivered to the ground gently, by drone.

IN PHOTOS: THE UNSEEN AIRCRAFT THAT CARRY PLANES, TANKS, AND SOLDIERS

Behold the hollow belly of the largest airplane in the U.S. Air Force. The C-5M Super Galaxy is Lockheed Martin’s latest version of its C-5, first flown in 1968. With that monster cargo bay, longer than the entire distance of the Wright brothers’ first flight, it can carry a 280,000-pound load (equivalent to two 68-ton M1 Abrams tanks) for 2,150 nautical miles, then unload and keep going for 500 more.

HOW TO GO SUPERSONIC WITHOUT A BOOM

Until its retirement 13 years ago, the supersonic Concorde was plagued by two major problems: inefficiency and noise (the sonic booms it produced got it banned from over-land cruising). Now, heavyweights like Virgin and Airbus are planning to tackle supersonic speeds, and NASA began designing a “low boom” supersonic jet this year.