After more than 3 decades in the making, the latest version of the Martin Jetpack, the world’s first commercial jetpack, will be available next year from $150,000 (£95,000).
After initial test flights in 2011, makers of the Martin Jetpack, Martin Aircraft, received a AUD$50m ($38m, £24m) investment and an updated version of the jetpack was shown off recently at the Paris Air Show.
Powered by a 200hp V4 petrol engine that drives two fans (rather than rockets), the latest iteration can fly for 30 minutes at speeds of up to 74km/h.
Pilots will be able to reach altitudes of 1,000m taking off and landing vertically, meaning rooftops, gardens and parking lots are all viable launchpads.
Named as one of Time magazine’s Top 50 inventions for 2010, the Martin Jetpack is the world’s first practical jetpack, and the company perceives that its invention won’t just be for thrill seekers but will have potential search and rescue, military and commercial applications, both manned and unmanned.
“I think the first responders will see that as a massive improvement to their capability,” Peter Coker, chief executive of Martin Aircraft told Reuters. “Naturally for the ambulance service getting to a point of importance of rescuing people in the shortest possible time [is crucial].”
Martin signs agreements at Paris Air Show
At the Paris Air Show, the New Zealand-based Martin Aircraft Company announced four major new partnerships, including the establishment of a significant business relationship based in China, that the Company hopes will open up commercial opportunities for its innovative and futuristic Martin Jetpack.
Speaking at the Air Show, Mr Coker said: “We knew that coming to Paris would be an important commercial milestone for us as we launch the Martin Jetpack and our Heavy Lift Unmanned Aerial Vehicle onto the global stage, but we were not prepared for the scale of interest that the Martin Jetpack has generated in just the last two days alone.”
The four agreements signed by Martin Aircraft today in Paris were:
- An agreement with Beijing Flying Man Science & Technology Ltd involves the parties working towards the future delivery of a Martin Aircraft package with an initial tranche of 100 manned Jetpacks, 50 unmanned Jetpacks, 25 static models and 25 simulators. It is noted that at this stage the agreement is a strategic co-operation agreement and any sales are dependent upon a successful supply agreement.
- An agreement with Beijing Voyage Investment Ltd a subsidiary company of well-known Chinese-based AVIC International Holdings Ltd for the intended future delivery of manned and unmanned Jetpacks, simulators, and static models.
- An alliance agreement with Czech Republic-based Martin Aircraft Company s.r.o. to establish a European sales centre for the Martin Jetpack.
- An alliance agreement with New Delhi based M2K Group Ltd to establish a regional sales presents in commercially important India market.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by senior government representatives of New Zealand, China, India and the Czech Republic, along with the Chair of Martin Aircraft, Mr Jon Mayson, Chairman of KuangChi Science and Martin Aircraft Director Dr Ruopeng Liu, and Chief Executive Officer/Managing Director of Martin Aircraft, Mr Peter Coker.
Commenting on the signing of the four agreements, Mr Coker sai: “The Company has progressed rapidly since its public listing on the Australian Securities Exchange earlier in the year. We are now well on the path to commercialisation and our move from a Research & Development company to a commercial entity is well marked today with these announcements.
Mr Coker noted that: “Production will be primarily undertaken at our New Zealand manufacturing facility and with an expected eventual capacity of up to 500 units per annum, we are confident we can meet the demands from both the Chinese and International markets.”