Move over hoverboard, here comes the jetpack

Posted on 16 Jan 2015 by Tim Brown

KuangChi Science to invest in NZ Jetpack and space baloon

New Zealand-based Jetpack manufacturer, Martin Aircraft, has received a $50m investment from Hong Kong investment fund KuangChi Science to further commercialise its working jetpack creation.

The Australian Financial Review reported that the AUD$50m investment over the next two years means that the New Zealand-based Martin Aircraft is likely to list with the ASX in late February.

According to the company, the jetpack is suitable for a government and agency market, with a single jetpack costing around US$200,000 plus modifications.

The Martin Aircraft jetpack is operational and sells for around US$200,000..
The Martin Aircraft jetpack is operational and sells for around US$200,000..

Martin Aircraft is targeting organisations such as the fire service, search and rescue, disaster recovery and border security, who operate on a ‘first responder’ basis, but said the jetpack could have industrial uses, such as in the mining, energy, and agricultural sectors; and possibly for joyrides..

KuangChi Science first showed interest in the jetpack when its chief executive visited New Zealand with Chinese President Xi Jinping in November.

The Jetpack is powered by a V4 200hp engine driving two ducted fans. It has been flown to a height of 5,000 feet and can reach speeds of up to 74km/h.

One of the The Martin Aircraft's two ducted fan blades which provides propulsion for the aircraft.
One of the The Martin Aircraft’s two ducted fan blades which provides propulsion for the aircraft.

KuangChi Science is an innovation-focused company which is based in Shenzhen and is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

The company also announced at the back end of 2014 its plans to launch a ‘near space ship’ called Traveller in New Zealand in partnership with New Zealands’s air navigation service provider, Airways New Zealand, and Pengxin International.

KuangChi Science signed an MOU to collaborate with Airways and Pengxin in the refinement and launch of a huge near space balloon in New Zealand in the first half of this year. Airways New Zealand will support the launch by its experience assisting these launches and Pengxin will provide the launch site.

Dr. Zhang Yangyang, CEO of KuangChi Science, said the balloons have the potential to deliver the internet to billions of people around the world who currently have no access, and at a moderate cost.

“It’s a fascinating concept that has a number of potential applications, the most obvious being Wi-Fi access. A number of other applications have also been suggested ranging from resource mapping, traffic control, shipping communications and disaster relief through to Search and Rescue activities.

“The balloons, which are equipped with transponders and fail-safe systems so their movement and altitude can be tracked and managed, provide a similar service to satellites but at a fraction of the cost. The balloons remain in near space with self-generated solar power and are capable of recovery and task reloading.”