A New Zealand man is on the verge of making the dream of personal flight come true for anyone with 250 000 Australian dollars to spend on his recently-perfected Martin Jetpack. It’s a flying machine that can transport a person through the skies, travelling at a height of 1 000m at 74km/h.
It won’t be taking anyone to Durban and back from Jozi as it can only fly for 30 minutes or so, but it’s a fantastic start to the idea of getting people into the sky and off the roads. While many may think it’ll never take off (ba dum tish), remember that the same was said about television, cell phones and countless other inventions we can’t do without today.
The Martin Jetpack is the brainchild of New Zealand man (not Australian as I said in this morning’s newsletter, apologies!) Glenn Martin, who has been working on the concept for 34 years, starting back in his shed in Dunedin.
Mashable says he calls it “the world’s first practical jetpack”, and the latest prototype has proven so impressive that Martin has been able to secure investors with enough cash to list his company, Martin Aircraft, on the Australian Stock Exchange. That investment, which totals around 27 million Australian dollars, will allow him to focus on getting the Martin Jetpack into commercial production.
That said, his invention isn’t technically-speaking a jetpack. Martin himself says it’s more of a “helicopter backpack” as it uses two carbon fibre fans for lift and not a gas-powered jet engine.
Martin aims to get his invention into the hands of rescue services in 2016, and have it commercially available to anyone with deep enough pockets in 2017.
With my daily commute taking up more of my time now than ever before, it is my fervent hope that as manufacturing costs drop and Martin Aircraft gets these things into more countries, I too will one day fly to work instead of spending two hours a day driving a total of 28km.
[Source – Mashable, Image – Martin Aircraft]