Anyone who has seen The Jetson’s has dreamed about having their own personal jetpack. New Zealand based company Martin Aircraft is looking to turn that dream into a reality as they begin test flying their personal jetpack with real-life human pilots.
Recently the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand (CAA) granted the company a special permit allowing them to begin manned test flights, although they “may not be flown more than 20 feet above the ground or 25 feet above water.”
The video below shows a higher altitude test flight done via remote control with a dummy pilot. The test was to demonstrate the emergency ballistic parachute safety system.
“For us it’s a very important step because it moves it out of what I call a dream into something which I believe we’re now in a position to commercialize and take forward very quickly.” – Peter Coker, CEO of Martin Aircraft.
The ultimate goal for the company is to begin commercial sales as early as mid 2015 at a projected starting price of around $100,000. You may actually begin seeing these as early as 2014 as there has been strong interest to utilize these for first-responder and military missions.
There has been a lot of work being done in the future of personal and public transportation. Elon Musk recently revealed details for his supersonic hyperloop concept as an alternative to the high-speed rail project in California, and even NASA has joined the game working with California-based company, Skytran to construct the first magnetically levitating public transport system
- Personal jetpack gets go-ahead for manned test flights (news.cnet.com)
- Jetpack cleared by New Zealand authorities to carry a pilot (abc.net.au)