It has been the stuff of science-fiction legend for generations, but the era of futuristic personal space-age travel may have finally dawned.
After completing a gruelling seven-minute outside test flight, the longest ever by a jetpack, the world’s first commercial rocketman suit could be just months from hitting the shelves.
Reaching death-defying altitudes of more than 100ft, the Martin Jetpack's flight last week brought 40 years of development near to a conclusion and the dreams of millions achingly close to reality.
Although limited to speeds well below its 60mph capacity, the remotely controlled test, using a weighted dummy pilot called Jetson, smashed records for altitude and air-time.
At its unveiling at a U.S. airshow in 2008, the aircraft did not go higher than 6ft - an arm's reach from a watchful ground crew - or fly for longer than 45 seconds.
Given the success of the trial, the first ‘jet-ski in the sky’ could now be dispatched for solo flights by the end of the year at a price of around £50,000 ($75,000) per machine.
Designed to be the ‘simplest aircraft in the world’ the Martin Jetpack will be a breeze to fly, according to inventor Glenn Martin.
He said: ‘You just strap it on and rev the nuts out of it and it lifts you up off the ground.
‘It’s just basic physics. As Newton said, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. So when you shoot lots of air down very fast you go up and you're flying.'
Mr Martin says 2,500 people have already signed up for to buy the jetpack, with inquiries coming from Middle Eastern royalty and U.S. millionaires.
The two-litre 200-horsepower gasoline engine powers two ducted fans that can soar across the skies at 60mph at heights of up to 160ft.
The jetpack, which produces up to 6000rpm (revolutions per minute), carries enough fuel to fly for 30 minutes.
Its makers are targeting tourism joy flights, pilot training and private recreational sales.
‘Some just want to dodge the rush-hour traffic and do it in style’, Mr Martin said.
But the invention’s immediate deployment is likely to be as a ground-breaking defence tool with the U.S. military, which first tested jetpacks in the 1960s, and U.S. border control the first organisations to take delivery of the device.
Mr Martin, a 50-year-old father of two, sees the military version of the jetpack being used in hard-to-access areas, war zones to patrol borders and, if unmanned, to make difficult deliveries by remote control.
It could also be used in counter terrorism operations, as an airborne missile platform and mobile surveillance unit. ...
via First commercial jetpack is 'months away' after record-breaking 7-minute test flight | Mail Online.
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