|The Martin Jetpack flying at AirVenture 2008.|
|National origin||New Zealand|
|Manufacturer||Martin Aircraft Co.|
The Martin Jetpack is a single-person aircraft under development after 30 years of work. Despite its name, it does not use a jet pack as such, but ducted fans for lift. Martin Aircraft Company of New Zealand (not related to Glenn L. Martin Company, the US company also known as Martin Aircraft) developed it, and they unveiled it on 29 July 2008, at the Experimental Aircraft Association's 2008 AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, US. The US Federal Aviation Administration classified it as an experimental ultralight airplane.
It uses a gasoline (petrol) engine with two ducted fans to provide lift. It is specified to have a maximum speed of 40 km/h, a flight ceiling of 2,500 ft, a range of 15–20 km and endurance of about 28 minutes flight. Empty weight is 200 kg. The first customers are said to be first responders.
The Martin Jetpack has been under development for over 30 years. Glenn Neal Martin (not to be confused with Glenn L. Martin, of US Martin Aircraft) started work on it in his Christchurch garage in the 1980s.
New Zealand aviation regulatory authorities approved the Martin Jetpack for a limited set of manned flight tests in 2013. As of 2016 the price of the commercial production units is expected to be US$250,000 and sell in the US for US$250,000-350,000 subject to local tax and customization requirements.
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!"
In August 2016 CEO Pete Coker was replaced by the former CFO James West.
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. 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 petrol 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.
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. 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 2017.
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.
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. According to an investor update from August 2016, additional funding will be required to complete the certification process.
In 2015 the company as part of its listing on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX:MJP) stated that the jetpack could be available on the market as in late 2016; it was expected to sell for approximately US$250,000,. However, the delivery date has again been postponed to 2017(?).
Governments are expected to be a large share of initial consumers. The first production model aimed at military and first responder emergency crews, such as police, firefighters, and medical personnel, enabling them to have faster response times, to reach areas inaccessible by road, and to get to the top of tall buildings quickly. Interested buyers include the government of the United Arab Emirates; it was reported in November 2015 that Dubai (part of the UAE) had placed an initial order for twenty units, simulators, and training, for delivery in 2016.
A more basic model for the general public may be available by 2017.
Type of aircraft: Class one microlight
Data from Company Web site
- Crew: 1 pilot
- Payload: 100 kg (220.46 lb)
- Length: 1.75 m (5 ft 7 in)
- Wingspan: 2.14 m (7 ft)
- Height: 2.2m (7 ft)
- Empty weight: 200 kg (440 lb)
- Useful load: 120 kg (220 lb)
- Max. takeoff weight: 320 kg (706 lb)
- Fuel capacity: 40 L (10.57 gal)
- Powerplant: 1 × Martin Aircraft Company 2-litre (120 cu in) two-stroke V-4 engine, 150 kw (201 hp)
- Propellers: Carbon/Kevlar composite ducted fans rotor, 2 per engine
- Propeller diameter: 800 mm (31.5 in)
- Maximum speed: 40 kts (74 km/h)
- Cruise speed: 30 kts (56 km/h)
- Range: 30 km ()
- Endurance: 30 min
- Service ceiling: 3000 ft ()
- Rate of climb: 400 ft/min (122 m/min)
- "Personal jetpack gets Civil Aviation Authority approval". TVNZ.co.nz. 2013-08-13. Retrieved 2013-08-14.
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- Martin Aircraft, News, accessdate=12 November 2015
- "Kiwi invented Jetpack reaches new heights". TVNZ. 29 May 2011. Retrieved 31 May 2011.
- "Martin Jetpack 5000ft flight - highlights". NZHerald. 30 May 2011. Retrieved 31 May 2011.
- "Dubai Airshow: Jetpacks finally set for lift off? - BBC News". 11 November 2015. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
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