This article titled “The world’s first commercial jetpack will cost 0,000 next year” was written by Samuel Gibbs, for theguardian.com on Friday 26th June 2015 11.07 UTC
After 35 years in development, the world’s first commercially available jetpack will be available next year for 0,000.
The Martin Jetpack is made from carbon fibre and aluminium. It eschews the traditional rockets of science-fiction jetpacks, which are powerful but difficult to control, and instead uses fans.
A two-litre petrol engine drives two fans either side of the pilot to lift the jet pack and up to 120kgs of human into the air, along with a low-altitude parachute for use should things go wrong.
After initial test flights in 2011, an updated version was shown off recently at the Paris airshow. It could fly for up to 30 minutes at speeds as fast as 74 kilometres per hour. 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.
In fact, Martin believes that the jetpack’s ability to land in confined spaces will be its selling point, not aimed at millionaires as an expensive toy, but the emergency services.
“I think the first responders will see that as a massive improvement to their capability,” Peter Coker, chief executive of Martin told Reuters. “Naturally for the ambulance service getting to a point of importance of rescuing people in the shortest possible time [is crucial].”
The jetpack will ship for emergency services in the second-half of 2016, with a personal version scheduled to be released the following year.
New Zealand-based Martin Aircraft recently floated on the Australian stock exchange, seeing a m investment from Chinese aerospace company Kuang-Chi Science, valuing Martin at 0m. It began taking orders earlier this year, and has been showing off a simulator of the jetpack at airshows including Paris.
• Jetpacks: niche hobby or future transport for the masses?
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Tags: Air transport, Article, Asia Pacific, Gadgets, New Zealand, News, Samuel Gibbs, Technology, World news
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