These Guys Have Made a Working Jetpack… You Could Be Flying It to Work By Next Year

Glenn Martin invented this awesome jetpack in his garage... now his company's worth £50 million

Photo: Martin Aircraft

Fed up of traffic jams, the crowded tube or dangerous cycle lanes? Well this company from New Zealand thinks they have the answer: Yes, they’ve built a jetpack, and you could have it sooner than you think.

Aviation investors are apparently enthusiastic about the prospects for this new James-Bond-come-Iron-Man-badass mode of transportation becoming a reality.

Martin Aircraft, the company founded by Kiwi jetpack enthusiast of the same name, floated on the stock exchange in Australia yesterday, attracting investment which valued it at AU$100 million (£50 million).

The jetpack can fly for up to 30 minutes at altitudes of up to 1,000m and speeds of 74kph.

All the prototype tests have apparently proved successful and they’re aiming to deliver the first jet packs as early as 2016.

Photo: Martin Aircraft

The development process has taken a while. Glenn Martin founded the company back in 1981 while he was still a student.

He told the Sydney Morning Herald: “I always knew it would be a long road to develop a wearable jetpack.

The US military threw lots of cash at it in the 1950s and 1960s and failed. I was just a Kiwi bloke in a garage…

“The United States military had thrown lots of cash at big companies in the 1950s and 1960s that failed to come up with anything practical, and here I was just a Kiwi bloke in a garage with a hobby.”

But when a video of Glenn’s wife Vanessa testing an early prototype attracted a lot of attention online, business began to take off (badum tish).

The latest models are capable of flying for up to 30 minutes at a time at altitudes of up to 1,000 metres and speeds of 74kph.

And although Glenn is currently targeting the military and the emergency services market, we can easily see it making the small step to becoming a giant leap in commuting technology.

Unfortunately, at least initially, that kind of personal flight will probably remain unrealistic for most office workers. The jetpacks will set you back a cool AU$225,000 (£115,000)

You will also need to get a pilots licence.

But still, the prospect of a real-life jetpack maker turning science fiction into reality is pretty mouth watering. How long before this becomes standard in our cities?

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