Jetpack-maker Martin Aircraft ends year on a high with UAE and Chinese deals

Martin Aircraft Company continues to go from strength to strength to end 2015, after the makers of the world’s first commercial jet pack signed two significant agreements with prospective overseas buyers.

The company signed the first agreement last month to supply its products to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for use by emergency services.

The New Zealand-based aerospace company signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the UAE Directorate of Civil Defence for the intended future delivery of manned and unmanned jetpacks, simulators, spare parts, support services, and pilot and engineer training for appropriate civil defence and fire service personnel.

As part of the MoU, the parties are working towards the future delivery of a Martin Aircraft package with an initial tranche of up to 20 jetpacks and 2 simulators, which will also include initial training services and operational support.

The agreement was signed on November 9 at the Dubai Air Show, which resulted in Martin Aircraft’s shares jumping 8.7% in value on the ASX the day after the deal.

And, on 6 December, the company announced that its Hong Kong based joint venture company, KuangChi Martin Jetpack Ltd (KCMJ), has signed 3 Intention Framework Agreements for a total of 100 manned Jetpacks and 20 simulators.

At this stage the agreements are subject to the agreement of procurement contracts by 30 June, 2016, which will include final purchase price and support for each of the packages. Each package is part of the China “Ironman Club” concept where each Company provides Martin Jetpack and KuangChi Science capabilities in China.

The agreements were at the first public flight demonstration of the P12 Martin Jetpack held at the Shenzhen OTC Waterpark in front of a crowd of 2,400 VIPs and distinguished guests along with members of the public.

The recent rise in shares has seen the company’s share price molre than double since the end of September and pivotal agreements signed with the UAE and China have seen Martin Aircraft bounce back from a lacklustre financial year, which saw the NZ company post an annual loss of $5.2m in the year through to June.

Martin Aircraft jetpack testing continues

The Martin Aircraft jetpack in operation.
The Martin Aircraft jetpack in operation.

In preparation for supplying the UAE with its products, Martin Aircraft has continued its latest phase of manned jetpack test flying in recent weeks as it prepares for an upcoming public event to be held in China.

Over the last six months, Martin Aircraft has been taking the P12 jetpacks through a formal flight testing and evaluation programme which differs from previous testing.

The current P12 jetpacks have been built in more of a production environment, using rigorous build configuration controls and processes.

The implementation of advanced aircraft sub-systems and better design has resulted in significant improvements in aircraft handling and manoeuvrability from earlier test flights.

The Martin Jetpack is the world’s first practical jetpack with a potential use spanning search and rescue, military, recreational and commercial applications, and can be flown by a pilot or via remote control.

The Martin Jetpack was named as one of Time magazine’s Top 50 inventions for 2010, which based on current testing will have over 30 minutes flight capability at a speed of up to 74 km/h and an altitude up to 1000m (3000ft).

Martin Aircraft plans to release the Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) version of the jetpack, the Martin Skyhook,   for commercial sale in 2016.