As much a part of sci-fi futures as laser guns and teleportation, the jetpack has had a hazardous development process over the past four decades, proving as impractical as the hoverboard or flying car. New Zealand-based aeronautics company Martin Aircraft, however, has successfully developed the first commercial jetpack, to be launched next year.
The jetpack began initial testing back in 2011, before being put through a rigorous development process that has resulted in the advanced model due for launch in 2016. ‘Jetpack’ is a misnomer, though; Martin’s personal flying machine employs fans over the traditional rocket propulsion. The Martin Jetpack is built from carbon fibre and aluminium, making it lightweight and able to lift a person of up to 120kgs into the air.
The current model jetpack was paraded at the recent Paris Airshow, during which it took off vertically and flew for 30 minutes at speeds of up to 74kmph.
Martin sees the technology as a vital resource for emergency response units, such as police and paramedics, for which time is of the essence. “I think the first responders will see that as a massive improvement to their capability,” Peter Coker, CEO 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].”
Thank you The Guardian for providing us with this information.