The Martin Jetpack is expected to cost $150,000. Image Credit: YouTube / Martin Aircraft
After more than 35 years in development the new Martin Jetpack is due to go on sale next year.
Once relegated to the realms of comic books and early science fiction movies, the idea of owning a personal jetpack might have finally become a reality thanks to an aircraft company in New Zealand that has developed the world's first commercially available version of the device.
The Martin Jetpack shuns rocket-based propulsion in favor of two petrol-powered propellers and can lift weights of up to 120kg in to the air at speeds of 74 kilometers per hour.
The device is particularly convenient as it can lift off or land on practically any surface including rooftops while maintaining a degree of precision control unheard of in most jetpacks.
The initial model can keep going for 30 minutes at a time and will even include an emergency parachute in the unlikely event that it runs in to difficulties high up in the air.
Martin believes that, on top of being a plaything for the wealthy, the device could prove particularly useful to emergency services due to its ability to land in confined spaces.
"I think the first responders will see that as a massive improvement to their capability," said Martin chief executive Peter Coker. "Naturally for the ambulance service getting to a point of importance of rescuing people in the shortest possible time [is crucial]."
The jetpack is set to become available for consumer purchase before the end of next year.