I've got to say something here about the probable impact of a generational change as it relates to wild new flying machines.
Like many of us, I'm not sold yet. Unless the inventor is the driving force to fly this baby, it'll most likely turn into an overweight underwhelming entry in the 'didn't work' column. Most of us know the real issues are regulatory. And yet as a concept it certainly will work, just as soon as we turn it over to the kids.
This contraption fits in a category of underexplored flight technologies that will probably explode in diversity and number in the years ahead. Wearable flight craft and personal flying equipment speak to the X-Games generation in a powerful way, and they will do to the hardware exactly as they've done to motorcycles, bicycles, snowmobiles, watercraft, and skiing. Already there seem to be logical design groupings describing the exciting hardware and sports soon to be invented. Aviation as we know it will be reinvented and reinvigorated by these market forces, with or without us.
The Puffin (which is easily made practical if you've been paying attention to the radical breakthroughs in cheap self-stabilization and motion control created for autonomous and augmented systems) joins the Martin fanpack and similar designs in the VTOL corner.
Gravity-launched equipment includes wingsuits, wing packs, wing sleds, and high speed hang gliders.
Then there are what can only be called micro-planes. Ultralights by definition, but not by speed limit. They'll make this BD-5J look big. Maybe even slow.
This should remind us that our coolest looking aircraft looked just as cool when they were hatched... in the 1970s.
In the 1970s, Evel Knievel was jumping Harleys.
Bicycles had ten speeds and skinny tires.
As if to say, thanks, Pops, we'll take it from here, Generation X took Ralph Nader's hyper-protectionism as a call to arms to do the improbable. Then the impossible.
The classic aviation mindset is one of regulatory paralysis, where we no longer feel free to make and sell things that are patently dangerous toys. Rest assured that the driving forces behind this particular possibility do not share that perspective nor do they care about how things will sort themselves out after going out and doing whatever it is they want to do.
They'll break all the rules, and the rules will adapt. For our activity in particular, this will turn out to be a good thing. If we survive the action as spectators.