Martin Jetpack, the first personal flying machine that has the potential to enter the mass production received the approval to conduct the first pilot tests. The New Zealand Company, Martin, plans to release the final version next year and the announcement confirms that the development of the P12 prototype progresses according to the plan.
Martin Jetpack is the first personal flying machine that could be used in civilian applications. Similar devices have been developed so far mainly for the military, but none has passed in the mass production. Its story begins in the imagination of the inventor Glenn Martin who started to work at the first versions in his own garage 30 years ago. He was inspired by shows like “Thunderbirds” or “Lost in Space” and his desire of giving the mankind the ability to fly without previous training.
In 2013, less than a year from the official launch of the commercial version, Glenn Martin’s fantasy is very close to becoming reality. The device is part of the micro light flying class and weighs 180 kg, along with the pilot that controls it. It is driven by a gasoline engine and two propellers horizontally mounted, which allows it to rise to a recommended height of 152 meters. The company that develops the device, Martin Aircraft, is located in Christchurch, New Zealand and works on the P12 prototype, a giant qualitative leap compared to the previously developed versions.
In May 2011, a Martin Jetpack climbed to an impressive height of 1,500 meters, being controlled by a remote control and carrying a mannequin. It is time for New Zealand firm to launch manned tests and the permission given by the Local Civil Aviation Authority is a good indication that the development compiles timing before the device will be revealed on the civil market, scheduled for 2015.