First "Practical Jetpack" Approved for Tests

In development for 30 years

    Photo: Courtesy of Martin Aircraft Company Limited

The creators of the world's first "practical jetpack" have been given the go-ahead to perform test flights by New Zealand aviation authorities. Despite the name, the Martin Jetpack doesn't actually use jets to fly, instead hovering, helicopter-like, with the aid of two large ducted fans. The current prototype, dubbed the P12, has a flight range of slightly under 19 miles, and can stay aloft for up to half an hour.

"For us it's a very important step because it moves it out of what I call a dream into something which I believe we're now in a position to commercialise and take forward very quickly,” said Inventor Glenn Martin.

Martin has been developing the jetpack for 30 years, with the goal of eventually creating a craft that would be easy to control and could mimic the futuristic contraptions he saw on shows like Lost in Space. The machine is expected to retail for between $150,000 and $250,000.

Via The Independent

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