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 Not ready
Unit cost
US$250,000-US$350,000[1]

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. Glenn Martin announced in the same year that his jetpack would be for sale very soon. Eight years have passed and this project remains under development.

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. These technical specifications are significantly lower than the data listed in their 2014 IPO. Given that the maximum payload is just 100 kg, the pilot must not weigh more than 60 kg to allow for a full tank of fuel (40 kg). The first customers are meant to be first responders. However, the relatively low payload limits the jetpacks usefulness for this market.

History[edit]

The Martin Jetpack has been under development for over 30 years. Glenn Neal Martin[2] (not Glenn L. Martin, of US Martin Aircraft) started work on it in his Christchurch garage in the 1980s.[3]

New Zealand aviation regulatory authorities approved the Martin Jetpack for a limited set of manned flight tests in 2013.[3] As of 2016 the price of the commercial production units is expected to be US$250,000[1] and sell in the US for US$250,000-350,000 subject to local tax and customization requirements.[3]

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 suddenly replaced by the former CFO James West.

Description[edit]

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 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.[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.[3] 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. Technical specifications have been substantially downgraded and no longer match what was promised in the 2014 IPO prospectus. The first jetpack will now not be delivered in 2016, but apparently in 2017(?).

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.[3] According to an investor update from August 2016, additional funding will be required to complete the certification process.

Potential Markets[edit]

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,.[1][9] 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.[9] Interested buyers include the government of the United Arab Emirates;[10] 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. After the latest announcement from the company, first deliveries will no longer occur in 2016, with 2017(?) given as a new prospective date. The company also advised that additional finance will be required to complete the certification process.

A more basic model for the general public may be available by 2017(?).

Specifications[edit]

Type of aircraft: Class one microlight

Data from Company Web site[11]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1 pilot
  • Payload: 100 kg ()
  • Length: 5 ft 7 in (1.75 m)
  • Rotor diameter: ()
  • 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: 40 Litres

Performance

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Personal jetpack gets Civil Aviation Authority approval". TVNZ.co.nz. 2013-08-13. Retrieved 2013-08-14. 
  2. ^ "Personal Jetpack Coming Soon". Forbes. 20 September 2011. Retrieved 12 November 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Personal jetpack gets flight permit for manned test". Phys.org News. 2013-08-13. Retrieved 2013-08-14. 
  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. ^ Martin Aircraft, News, accessdate=12 November 2015
  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. 
  9. ^ a b "Dubai Airshow: Jetpacks finally set for lift off? - BBC News". 11 November 2015. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  10. ^ http://vrworld.com/2015/12/09/buy-your-own-jetpack-for-200000/
  11. ^ "Technical". Martin Aviation. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 

External links[edit]