The New Zealand-based Martin Aircraft Company wants to see us flying over traffic with our own personal jetpacks instead of going through it. Furthermore, they recently received funding from investors to make it happen sooner than we’d have thought possible.
Their jetpack, called the P12, can carry a 264-pound (120 kilograms) payload for 30 minutes and can reach altitudes of up to 3,000 feet (914 metres). It’s powered by a 2-litre, 200-horsepower petrol engine, and has a computer system that lets it hover unmanned.
Its size gives it the ability to land virtually anywhere – something helicopters can’t do.
Glenn Martin, founder of the company, started developing jetpack prototypes in 1981, even using his wife as a test pilot. With multi-million dollar investment from metamaterials company KuangChi, the Martin Jetpack now has access to artificial materials that could make it lighter and more aerodynamic.
The company expects to roll out its first batch of jetpacks by third quarter of 2016 to commercial customers and community services – i.e. fire, police, ambulance. By 2017, they’ll be selling personal jetpacks priced at $200,000 – a reasonable price to commute James Bond-style.