The commercial jetpack is no longer product of science fiction—it’s a reality. In fact, the Martin Jetpack is seriously useful in helping first responders save lives.
The Martin Aircraft Company has been working on developing a functional jetpack since the 1980’s. After all these years, it looks as though the New Zealand-based company finally created the world’s first practical jetpack, “with potential usage spanning search and rescue, military, recreational, and commercial applications, both manned and unmanned.”
Martin Aircraft’s C.E.O. Peter Coker told CNBC the company’s plans for the future. Coker said, “Were moving to a commercial product so we can release it in the second half of 2016. So we’re redesigning it, looking at the supply chain, and generally getting ready for commercialization.”
A fully functioning model of the Martin Jetpack flew at speeds of 45 M.P.H. at this year’s Paris Air Show. The Martin Jetpack is expected to retail for close to $200,000.
The jetpack’s power is derived from duct fans driven by an engine power plant containing V4, two stroke engines. The Martin Jetpack is also equipped with a parachute.
The jetpack can be controlled by remote control, or by a pilot. It’s capable of navigating in all kinds of terrain.
According to a report by CNBC, Martin Aircraft promises the jetpack’s technology is very easy to use, so any potential pilot will be able to obtain a license relatively easily.
Peter Coker briefly explained how the company envisions the use of the Martin Jetpack.
“We’ve developed this for our first responders, fire, police, natural disaster, and recovery. It creates a lot of air and then we’re able to move the aircraft around by guiding it over certain vanes where it can actually get up to about 74 kmh.”
The Martin Jetpack is lightweight and small. It is capable of reaching places that are inaccessible to cars and helicopters—ideal for use in providing relief to disaster areas.
Coker claims the Martin Jetpack is currently classed as a light aircraft, so clearing regulatory hurdles will become easier.
“It’s registered as a microlight aircraft with the new Zealand Civil Aviation Authority so that makes it easy for us because a lot of other countries around the world are recognizing that for us. We actually have a team looking at the regulatory requirements, but we don’t see it as a big issue and a lot of them are asking us to write up the rules because there’s nothing like this in the world.”
No longer a product of science fiction, the commercial jetpack is now a reality.
[Featured image via Martin Aircraft]