A company in New Zealand has created and flown a prototype of a jetpack, which it expects to make commercially available in 2014.
The Martin Aircraft Company’s ‘P12’ is the 12th prototype of the Martin Jetpack.
According to CEO Peter Coker, making some significant design changes to the latest version made a big difference to performance.
He said: “Changing the position of the jetpack’s ducts has resulted in a quantum leap in performance over the previous prototype, especially in terms of the aircraft’s manoeuvrability.”
The Martin Jetpack is the brainchild of Glenn Martin, who spent NZ$20 (£10) of his families’ monthly $50 (£25) disposable income working in his garage to create the jetpack, which was tested for the first time by his wife Vanessa.
Development of the jetpack was kept under wraps, with Martin’s sons, Harrison and William, sworn to secrecy.
With investors signed up, the Martin Aircraft Company was formed in 2004 to continue development, and the P12 undertook its first remote controlled flight in November 2012.
The New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority has classified the P12 as a Class 1 microlight aircraft, and authorised the company to conduct manned test flights, which it has done successfully. Check out the video to find out more.
Over the next few months, the company will concentrate on refining the V4 engine ahead of its commercial availability, which is scheduled for mid-2014. According to Gizmag, first responder (rescue, fire and police) applications will be given priority.
The jetpack is predicted to cost around $100,000 (£62,000) plus taxes, delivery and duty - and you need a $4,000 (£2,400) deposit to go on the waiting list.