Feeds

Kiwi jetpack gets all-clear for manned tests

A small step closer to your sci-fi future...

Build a business case: developing custom apps

A decade of testing is close to paying off for New Zealand company Martin Aircraft Company, which has announced that it has received certification to conduct manned test flights for its Martin Jetpack.

The New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority has given the outfit the go-ahead to conduct manned flights of its twelfth prototype, building on the Experimental Flight Permit that was issued back in May.

The manned test flights will first be conducted indoors, the company says.

Its specification for the jetpack stipulates flight time up to 30 minutes, and while its ceiling hasn't been confirmed, the company told NPR its maximum altitude could be as much as around 2,400 metres (8,000 feet).

The jetpack consists of the engines and ducts, a platform for the pilot to stand on, joysticks and a control console.

In 2011, the company posted this video to YouTube demonstrating the unit to 1,500 metres (5,000 feet) with a dummy aboard. That demonstration was important, since it shows that the jetpack's engines are powerful enough to lift it beyond “ground effect” (the extra lift that happens near a fixed surface).

Watch Video

Martin Aircraft Company hopes to launch its first commercial units in 2014, aiming the technology at first responders who might otherwise have trouble working around traffic jams caused by accidents, and might benefit from having an aerial view of the world.

Martin Jetpack front view

The latest version of the Martin Aircraft Company jetpack

It expects a commercial-level unit to ship for around $NZ175,000, and a military unit – which would be kitted out with suitable communications equipment – to fly out the door at just $NZ250,000.

And with conventional petrol (gasoline for US readers) powering the engine, CEO Peter Coker says users could drop into an ordinary service station for a top-up. ®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record
One charge sees Sunswift travel 500kms at over 100 km/h
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
Jurassic squawk: Dinos were Earth's early FEATHERED friends
Boffins research: Ancient dinos may all have had 'potential' fluff
MARS NEEDS OCEANS to support life - and so do exoplanets
Just being in the Goldilocks zone doesn't mean there'll be anyone to eat the porridge
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.