The Jet-Pack was a personal short-range propulsion rig that inventor Curtis Metcalf employed for flight as the armored vigilante Hardware. He has used several versions of the jet pack over the course of his crimefighting career which are described below.
Version 1.0 Jet-Pack
Curtis built his original Jet-Pack from whatever technology he could scrounge without alerting his employer and then nemesis, Edwin Alva. The rig's turbine thrusters gathered the surrounding air and then expelled it in a continuous stream, thereby enabling Hardware to fly. The jet pack was designed for his Version 1.0 armor and was controlled via the suit's on-board computer,Obie. Because of the heat and thrust generated, Hardware had to replace most of the rig every two or three uses, allowing him to regularly experiment with new designs. He often used such experimentation to improve the Jet-Pack's fuel efficiency when used at maximum thrust. For example, when he first fought the self-cloning hitman Reprise, Hardware had increased the rig's flight time to over 3 minutes.
Despite these efforts, Hardware had to still limit using the Jet-Pack for short distance flights or quick escapes. These limitations led to Hardware constructing his "flying car," the Skylark, which was more reliable and had far greater range. The Version 1.0 was later mothballed after Hardware built the more advanced Version 2.0 rig.
Version 2.0 Jet-Pack
The second Jet-Pack was designed for the Version 2.0 armor and was controlled via the on-board computer, DOBIE. Built with the full cooperation and resources of Alva Technologies, this rig was much sturdier and more dependable, enabling Hardware to use it almost indefinitely with regular maintenance. At maximum thrust, the Version 2.0 Jet Pack had enough fuel to keep him airborne for 20 minutes. Hardware increased the rig's flight time to over an hour by adding insulation made of "smart ceramic" developed by Hard Company.
Version 2 Variants
Due to its nanotech-based construction, the Version 2.0 armor could quickly alter its form, enabling Hardware to operate in a range of dangerous environments. As a result, he constructed variants of the Version 2.0 jet pack that functioned in a particular environment.
- Deep Sea Armor Jet-Pack
- Hardware designed this jet-pack to function underwater as well in the air. To that end, the rig is equipped with an impeller system that quickly propelled Hardware through the water when he submerged. The jet-pack also had an oxygen tank between its thrusters that supplemented the built-in air supply in Hardware's armor. Thus, he could function in the ocean depths for great lengths of time.
- Space Environment Armor Jet-Pack
- This jet-pack looked almost identical to the standard Version 2.0 rig except that it lacked air intakes.. In the void of outer space, the air intakes would be useless since there is no air for the jet pack to gather for thrust. Instead, the rig was equipped with a pair of rocket engines to propel Hardware through space.
Version 3.0 Jet-Pack
The jet-pack for Hardware's Version 3.0 armor resembled the Version 2.0 except built on a larger scale. This was necessary since the rig had to generate enough thrust to get the massive Version 3.0 suit off the ground. The jet-pack also had a pair of small wings, giving greater flight stability.These wings retracted when Hardware was on the ground in order not to impede his movement. In addition, the jet-pack incorporated the same impeller system as the Version 2.0 Deep Sea rig.
Version 4.0 Jet-Pack
Hardware constructed this jet-pack for his telepresence armor which he could control remotely. This rig was nearly as large as that for the Version 3.0 armor, but its thrusters were cylindrical in shape., Unlike previous jet-packs, this one was fully integrated into the telepresence armor and could not be removed.
Eventually, Curtis stopped using jet-packs for flight altogether after installing jet boots in his Version 2.0 armor that were more fuel efficient and had greater range. However, after his armor was badly damaged fighting the SYSTEMatic Mark III, Hardware again used the Version 1.0 armor and jet-pack to thwart the crimelord Holocaust from buying a F-22 Raptor fighter jet. Despite being "outdated," the jet-pack performed well during this mission and the subsequent one, in which he aided the Justice League of America in defeating the cosmic vampire Starbreaker.
Links and References
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Hardware #1
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Hardware #17
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Hardware #40
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 Hardware #18
- ↑ Hardware #34
- ↑ Hardware #34
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 Hardware #50
- ↑ Static Shock: Rebirth of the Cool #2
- ↑ Static Shock: Rebirth of the Cool #3
- ↑ Static Shock: Rebirth of the Cool #4
- ↑ Justice League of America (Volume 2) #28
- ↑ Justice League of America (Volume 2) #33
- ↑ Justice League of America (Volume 2) #34