Jetpack progress update: Martin Aircraft Company, the New Zealand company behind one of the most promising manned personal aircraft projects, just announced some very promising updates. The jetpacks are coming. Just think about this: by this time next year, you might be able to buy a jetpack. Not just a drone, either: a real-life manned jetpack. While the Martin prototype is heavily geared to major first-responder and governmental uses, the announcement made one thing clear—they definitely have a commercial version in the works too.
The current iteration of the Martin design uses a 2,400 hp gas engine to drive two ducted fans for up to 30 minutes of flight time at speeds of up to 45 mph and heights of up to 1,000 meters. The pack's body is made of aluminum and carbon fiber.
With plans to roll out a first responders' version of the jetpack starting at the end of this year, the commercial version is set to follow. Expect to see it retail at around $150,000. Come next year, you might look up and finally see people zipping around fulfilling Thunderball fantasies.
Brett Williams is an editorial assistant at Supercompressor.
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