There are some reports you read and instantly you're excited.
Reports that the first commercial jetpack's are to be made available next year certainly caught our imagination. Here at Comms we love innovation and allowing us to become James Bond is an innovation of the highest order and one we are applauding!
Oh, just one small rain cloud in the sky. You will need a James Bond budget to enjoy your flight. The jetpacks will set you back the tidy sum of $150,000. A flight of fancy for us mortals?!
We are shaking our penny jar as we type.
Speaking of James Bond, the manufactures of the jetpack, the New Zealand company, Martin have actually elevated themselves above the world's greatest secret agent. Instead of the rocket powered science-fiction jetpacks, which despite being powerful were notoriously difficult to control, the Martin Jetpack is made from carbon fibre and aluminium and uses fans.
A two-litre petrol engine drives two fans either side of the pilot to lift the jet pack and up to 120kgs of human into the air, along with a low-altitude parachute for use should things go wrong. After initial test flights in 2011, an updated version was shown off recently at the Paris airshow. It could fly for up to 30 minutes at speeds as fast as 74 kilometres per hour.
Now this is where things get really exciting because of the technical innovations from Martin pilots will be able to reach altitudes of 1,000m taking off and landing vertically, meaning rooftops, gardens and parking lots are all viable launchpads, which makes the Martin Jetpack an welcome addition to the arsenal of the emergency services.
The chief executive of Martin's, Peter Coker told Reuters, “I think the first responders will see that as a massive improvement to their capability. Naturally for the ambulance service getting to a point of importance of rescuing people in the shortest possible time (is crucial).”
The wonderful news is jetpack will ship for emergency services in the later half of 2016. And what of the consumer version scheduled to be released the following year.
New Zealand-based Martin Aircraft recently floated on the Australian stock exchange, seeing a $50m investment from Chinese aerospace company Kuang-Chi Science, valuing Martin at $100m.
Orders began to flood in earlier on in the year, and from what we have seen of the simulator jetpack we expect to see a whole new form of travelling to work!
Until next timeSteve Wilkin