New Zealand’s Martin Aircraft Company has redesigned the Martin Jetpack in preparation for the personal aircraft’s commercial launch in mid-2014. The world’s first “practical” jetpack can achieve a speed of 46 mph (74kph) and can remain airborne for 30 minutes, and it will be initially used for first responder applications, such as rescue, fire, and police missions. Shortly thereafter, the jetpack will be available to the general public.
The company redeemed its P12 prototype and made alterations that resulted in significant performance improvements. By changing the position of the jetpack’s ducts, they managed to boost the performance in terms of the aircraft’s maneuverability. Operating on a full tank of premium gas, the Martin Jetpack can remain airborne for 30 minutes and travel 20 miles. It can reach a maximum speed of 46mph and maximum height 3000ft. In addition to performance adjustments, the new model has a lighter and more compact engine.
The company is planning other modifications that will extend the time between required overhaul from the present 200 hours. Because of its weight, the jetpack is categorized in the US as a light sport plane, while by European standards it qualifies as a microlight aircraft.
It is recommended to fly above 500ft for optimal performance and maximum safety. In order to operate it, the pilot has to wear a helmet, neck restraint, boots, fireproof suit and hearing protection. The Jetpack will eventually be sold for $100,000 in the U.S., though the initial price will hover between $150 and 200K. If you have some cash to burn and want to reserve your very own aircraft in advance, simply leave a $5,000 deposit.