Named as one of Time Magazine’s Top 50 inventions for 2010, the Martin Jetpack (yes, a real life personal jetpack ala the Jetsons) might be available for commercial use by as early as the second half of 2016 or 2017.
The Martin Jetpack, manufactured and developed by Martin Aircraft Company Ltd, was first conceived by Glenn Martin in Dunedin, New Zealand in 1981. This led to the founding of Martin Aircraft in 1998.
On June 16th of this year, Martin Aircraft announced the signing of significant partnerships that could open up commercial opportunities for the Martin Jetpack. Four agreements were signed by Martin Aircraft during the 51st International Paris Air Show, including several deals with companies based in China that could make flying jetpacks a reality sooner than we think.
No doubt exhilarated by the recent developments with regards to their innovative product the CEO of Martin Aircraft, Peter Coker said, “We were aware that coming here to Paris would be a crucial commercial milestone for us as we launch our products, the Martin Jetpack and our Heavy Lift Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, onto the global stage,” he continued by saying “however, we were not prepared for the scale of interest that the Martin Jetpack has generated in just the last couple of days alone.”
According to the company’s website these were the 4 agreements that were signed on that day:
- An agreement with a Chinese based company which involves the companies working together towards the future delivery of a Martin Aircraft Package with an initial production of 25 static models and 25 simulators, 100 manned Jetpacks and 50 unmanned Jetpacks. It is known that at this, initial stage the agreement is a strategic co-operation deal and any sales are dependent upon a future successful supply contract.
- An agreement with a Chinese based company for the future delivery of manned and unmanned Jetpacks, simulators and static models.
- An agreement of co-operation with Czech Republic-based Martin Aircraft Company s.r.o. aiming to establish a European sales centre for Martin Jetpack.
- An agreement of co-operation with New Delhi based M2K Group Ltd with the intention of establishing a regional sales presents on the commercially important India Market.
After the announcement on June 16th, shares of the New Zealand based Martin Aircraft rose an impressive 45% on the Australian stock market.
The Martin Jetpack is a beauty. Handsome, well-built and lightweight, it is powered by a V4 2.0L engine that drives 2 ducted fans. It comes in manned and unmanned variants and employs vertical take-off and landing (VTOL), much like a helicopter. It can fly up to speeds of 74km/h with a fight time of up to 30 minutes. It can reach heights up to 3,000 ft. and has a 120kg payload.
The Jetpack is constructed out of light weight carbon fiber and aluminum.
Martin Aircraft’s Jetpack also has commendable safety features. The structure itself is designed to be pilot-protective, but has a ballistic parachute should anything go wrong. It has multiple warning systems and is equipped with computer navigation-GPS.
The company is currently looking at marketing the jetpack to First responders (rescuers, government agencies, police, and search and rescue crews) and to the military. But the company is hoping to eventually be able to release the jetpacks for commercial use.
The company is looking to release units of the Martin Jetpack at $200,000 per unit, and the planned production capacity is to be 500 units per year.