The three-year wait for a recreational jetpack may be almost over--assuming regulators give their approval.
New Zealand's Martin Aircraft said that its Martin Jetpack--which has a 200-horsepower piston gasoline engine that powers a couple of ducted fans--remained aloft for more than seven minutes in its latest test. That may not be enough time to get you to the store and back, but it represents a record.
A man on the ground flew the Martin Jetpack by radio control; a weighted dummy, "Jetson," served as the pilot. No mention yet on an updated timetable for putting a human through a rigorous series of test runs, though the company has previously said that it's on track to do just that sometime in the current quarter.
The jetpack itself is 5 feet tall and 5.5 feet wide and made of a carbon fiber composite with a pinch of Kevlar for the rotor. It uses regular gasoline and will travel a grand distance of 31.5 miles at a maximum speed of 63 mph, which should comfortably take you from home to office (and back) in a jiffy, and with a lot of noise. … Read more