The Martin Aircraft Company, based in New Zealand, is now taking deposits for the consumer version of its single-person jet pack, which has been in development for more than 30 years. Over the years, the company has successfully flown several prototypes, but it has continued to refine the design in search of easy handling, stable flight characteristics, safety, and reliability.
The Martin Jetpack can fly for up to 30 minutes at about 35 mph and cruise at altitudes of up to 3,000 feet, thanks to a proprietary two-stroke V-4 engine that the company developed to deliver the high power-to-weight ratio and steadiness that the design demands. Fly-by-wire assisted-stability controls and an integrated ballistic parachute enhance the jet pack’s ease of use and safety.
Martin is also developing a jet-pack training simulator, which it plans to put on the market in 2015, and an unpiloted aerial vehicle, which will be ready in 2016. Late in 2016, the company also plans to offer a Jetpack Experience, which will provide a simulator ride for the public overseen by an instructor on the ground with the capability to override the controls if necessary. A jet-pack aerial demonstration team is scheduled to start flying at air shows next summer. The Martin Jetpack is expected to sell for $200,000, with deliveries starting by 2017. (martinjetpack.com)