How soon before individuals can fly?
In the true sense of the word, I’d say never? We can glide or parasail. We can utilize machines to fly, but to “fly” like Supergirl or Superman? That appears not within the physics allowed on our planet given our biological construction.
Wing suits allow us to fall from a place of altitude, gain velocity and, by utilizing the physical construction of the suit, glide, or maneuver, all the while declining in altitude (except for brief ascensions to avoid objects or slow forward momentum) until finally the user activates his or her parachute and comes to earth. It’s not really flying but it comes close at least from appearances.
Flying (in the sense of a bird, flying) involves lift-creating sustained negative pressure (a vacuum) above the wing surface and positive pressure beneath it. This happens from air moving over the curved surface when forward motion creates both.
Since we don’t have wings, any flying must be currently done with aid of constructive add-ons or with the aid of a vehicle- an aircraft.
Even flying squirrels don’t truly fly, they glide from a higher elevation to a lower one usually on a different tree.
A Jetlev – the water propelled jet pack will hold you aloft just as long as you can maintain stability and you have a source of streaming water. But that is not flying in the true sense of the word.
Likewise a regular jet pack, which uses a jet of gas emanating from the pack, in similar fashion allows its user to stay aloft. It does offer less restriction on range of motion- but it too isn’t really flying.
Someday perhaps in some far future people may chose to be genetically redesigned to be able to fly, but for now that is the subject of science fiction.
What are your thoughts? Do you think people will ever fly in their own?