Martin Jetpack

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Martin Jetpack
Martin Jetpack Unveiling, Liftoff! (2714934801).jpg
The Martin Jetpack flying at AirVenture 2008.
Role Ultralight aircraft
National origin New Zealand
Manufacturer Martin Aircraft Co.
Designer Glenn Martin
Introduction 2008
Status Prototype
Unit cost

The Martin Jetpack is an experimental aircraft. Though its tradename uses the phrase "jet pack", the craft uses ducted fans for lift. Martin Aircraft Company of New Zealand developed it, and they unveiled it on July 29, 2008, at the Experimental Aircraft Association's 2008 AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, US. The Federal Aviation Administration classifies it as an experimental ultralight airplane.

It uses a gasoline engine with two ducted fans to provide lift. Its design claims a 60-mile-per-hour maximum speed, a 5,000-foot flight ceiling, with a flight time about 30 minutes on a full fuel tank.

In 2013 it was thought that the jetpack could be available on the market as soon as 2014, and it was expected to sell for approximately US$150,000,[1] with the initial production model aimed at military and first responder emergency crews, such as firefighters. A more basic model for the general public may be available by 2016.[2]


The Martin Jetpack has been under development for over 30 years. Glenn Martin started work on it in his Christchurch garage in the 1980s.[2]

New Zealand aviation regulatory authorities approved the Martin Jetpack for a limited set of manned flight tests in 2013.[2] As of 2013, the price of the production units is expected to be NZ$150,000[1] and sell in the US for US$150,000-250,000.[2]

Glenn Martin suddenly resigned on 4 June 2015 after investing 30 years in the product. He says now he can spend more time with his family and has other business projects. His concluding statement was, "I only have two pieces of advice. Deliver the dream that people want, not the product that is easiest to build. Now don't f... it up!" [3]


The Martin Jetpack is a small VTOL device with two ducted fans that provide lift and a 2.0-litre V4 piston 200-horsepower gasoline engine.[4] Although its pilot straps onto it and does not sit, the device cannot be classed as a backpack device because it is too large to be worn while walking. Although the Martin Jetpack does not meet the Federal Aviation Administration's classification of an ultralight aircraft: it meets weight and fuel restrictions, but it cannot meet the power-off stall speed requirement. The intention is to create a specific classification for the jetpack - it uses the same gasoline used in cars, is relatively easy to fly, and is cheaper to maintain and operate than other ultralight aircraft. Most helicopters require a tail rotor to counteract the rotor torque, which, along with the articulated head complicate flying, construction, and maintenance enormously. The Martin Jetpack is designed to be torque neutral – it has no tail rotor, no collective, no articulating or foot pedals – and this design simplifies flying dramatically. Pitch, roll and yaw are controlled by one hand, height by the other.[5]

Version P12[edit]

A further version of the Martin Jetpack has been built to prepare for manned flight testing. The new prototype, with the descriptor P12, has several design improvements over earlier versions, including lowering the position of the Martin Jetpack's ducts, which has reportedly resulted in much better maneuverability.[2] It also has a fully integrated fly by wire system. P12 will be developed into a First Responder production model. A lighter personal jetpack should be available in 2016.[6]

Safety features[edit]

In order to enhance safety, the finished product will feature a low opening ballistic parachute along with carbon fibre landing gear and pilot module.[6]

Flight testing[edit]

On 29 May 2011, the Martin Jetpack successfully completed a remotely controlled unmanned test flight to 1,500 m (5,000 ft) above sea level, and carried out a successful test of its ballistic parachute.[7][8]

A second version, designated prototype P12, of the Martin Jetpack received approval from the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to begin manned flight testing in August 2013.[2]


Data from Company brochure[6][full citation needed]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1 pilot
  • Payload: 120 kg ()
  • Length: 5 ft 7 in (1.75 m)
  • Wingspan: ()
  • Height: 7 ft (2.2 m)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 320 kg (320kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Martin Aircraft Company 2-litre (120 cu in) two-stroke V-4 engine, 200 hp (150 kw)
  • Propellers: Carbon / Kevlar composite - ducted fans in each engine propeller
  • Fuel capacity: 45 Litres


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Personal jetpack gets Civil Aviation Authority approval". 2013-08-13. Retrieved 2013-08-14. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Personal jetpack gets flight permit for manned test". News. 2013-08-13. Retrieved 2013-08-14. 
  3. ^ "Jetpack Founder Resigns Suddenly". 2015-06-04. Retrieved 2015-06-06. 
  4. ^ Boyle, Alan (29 July 2008). "Is this your jetpack?". MSNBC. Retrieved 10 December 2008. 
  5. ^ Murph, Darren (29 July 2008). "Martin Jetpack officially unveiled, lifts off on video". Engadget. Retrieved 10 December 2008. 
  6. ^ a b c Technical Information
  7. ^ "Kiwi invented Jetpack reaches new heights". TVNZ. 29 May 2011. Retrieved 31 May 2011. 
  8. ^ "Martin Jetpack 5000ft flight - highlights". NZHerald. 30 May 2011. Retrieved 31 May 2011. 

External links[edit]