Where’s My Jetpack? Right Here

Article Updated: 24 Dec , 2015


Step right up — you can now get your very own jetpack. That’s right, a real, not-science-fiction-honest-to-goodness jetpack. New Zealander Glenn Martin has been working on perfecting his jetpack for 30 years, and in 1998 created the Martin Aircraft Company to develop and market his idea. Now, the jetpack has become a reality. The 200-horsepower, dual-propeller is designed to fly average-sized person for 48 km (30 miles) in 30 minutes on 18 liters (5 gallons) of gas. The newest model can also reach heights of 2,400 meters (about 1.5 miles). Price? $100,000. “They are a helluva lot of fun to fly,” said Martin.

A drawing of the body of the Martin Jetpack. Courtesy Martin Aircraft Company.

Jetpacks have gone beyond being a science-fiction icon to become part of our cultural mind-set, and are such a powerful idea that several people have tried to develop them. The first serious attempts were instigated by the US military in the 1950s. The idea was to build an ultimate ‘all terrain vehicle’ to move military commanders around a battlefield. The Bell Rocket Belt was the most successful and first flew in 1961. But it only flew for 26 seconds.

Glenn Martin said he wanted to build a jetpack that could beat the 30 second mark, and beyond. He first developed his concept in 1981 based on a mathematical formula he came up with to determine what type of engine and thrust would be needed. In 2005, the 9th prototype achieved sustained flight times, laying the foundation for a viable and successful pre-production prototype to be developed.

Martin’s jetpack sounds like motorcycle or lawn mower. Since the jetpacks weigh less than 254 pounds, they don’t require a pilot’s license to fly. However, they must be flown under federal aviation regulations because it is powered by a piston driven engine. Martin says that buyers will be required to go through training before taking to the skies. The jetpack is also equipped with a low-altitude emergency parachute.

Those who have tested the jetpack say that with only the controls in front of you, flying a jetpack is a real free-flight experience.

The jetpacks should be ready for distribution later this year. Check out the Martin Jetpack website for more details.

Or check out the company’s You Tube site for videos of the jetpack.

26 Responses

  1. Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says:

    Only stupid New Zealanders would be involved in such a hair brained scheme. Such devices should be totally banned, as they could be used a very dangerous weapon. Clouds polluted with petrol mobsters just buzzing the local neighbourhood is not my idea of an intelligent idea.

  2. brundall says:

    ‘The jetpack is also equipped with a low-altitude emergency parachute’

    Thats reassuring!

  3. GekkoNZ says:

    Mr Crumb…

    How about you tone down the insulting remarks about us New Zealanders, insulting and offensive remarks like that are not acceptable on a site like Universe Today.

    *You* may find the idea, and the people who created this, stupid, but thankfully you are a minority in that regard. There are *many* (rich) people out there who would happily pay for one of these, and judging from all the positive press attention around the world, this will be a commercial success for the company.

    A car, a hunting rifle, a light aircraft, or even a jam jar could be used as a very dangerous weapon, your line of reasoning doesnt hold any water.

  4. gopher65 says:

    I work in a kitchen as a cook. We’re no longer allowed to use cheese slicers (basically thin guitar string type things with two handles on the end. Look just like an assassin’s weapon of choice) because if someone got mad they could be used as a weapon to strangle someone.

    Think about that for a moment. It’s a kitchen. What to kitchens have in abundance? Lots of fire. Lots of hot oil. And, most especially, lots and lots of very sharp, very large knives.

    Yeah. No weapons there:P.

  5. Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says:


    “How about you tone down the insulting remarks about us New Zealanders, insulting and offensive remarks like that are not acceptable on a site like Universe Today”

    So do you speak for Universe Today? I don’t think so. As for insulting New Zealanders, I have done no such thing. (Usual inferiority complex, again!) My point is that any supporting such propeller devices like this one and jetpacks are utterly ridiculous Whilst technical this might be an achievement, it is neither new or practical. The use of such ideas have been often described as no less than a environment disaster, and worst for safety or insurance .

    I can see it being used for military purposes but for commercial or personal use – forget it. I can see it being banned by the aviation industry for private use in most countries.

    (Anyway, didn’t they test something like this on Mythbusters?

  6. Astrofiend says:

    Wow – show us how old and bitter you really are Crumb!

    This thing would be as fun as a tub full of t.ts.

  7. Torbjorn Larsson OM says:

    Looks like a jetpack filled with fun!

    @ HSBC:

    They probably wouldn’t be allowed (too little use for too much danger to other aircraft) but not for being a terrorist platform. For any technology there will be others than tugs that can use them as anti-tug technology.

    Outright weapons may be, and have been, banned for being immoral. (Say, biological weapons and blinding lasers.) No such problem here.

  8. jeitiiea says:

    Crumb – “Only stupid New Zealanders” is an insulting and offensive remark. Also, if you consider this concept impractical and ridiculous, then you shouldn’t be too concerned about it being used as a weapon.

    Personally, I think this is brilliant. Whether it has any commercial value remains to be seen and is almost irrelevent…. If it works, I think there’ll always be a market for people wanting jetpacks… even if just so they can feel like Boba Fett! :p

  9. Feenixx says:

    It seems to be a ducted fan vehicle – which I consider the future of personal transport…. some time in the future, whenever…

    It’s the stuff “flying cars” are made of – which (in the ’50s and ’60s) we were supposed to be traveling in by the year 2000.

    It’s actually the second ducted fan flying vehicle on sale I know of, the first one being Moller’s little saucer shaped craft which is only allowed to fly at Ground Effect altitudes.

    Very cool, imo, but a bit costly for what it is.

  10. Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says:

    OK. Imagine someone in a war using a rifle or machine gun. If it is being sold under “…they don’t require a pilot’s license to fly.” (as the article states.) means anyone could buy one and use one. Want to send a few to Iraq or Afghanistan, guys? It an ideal platform!

    As “Only stupid New Zealanders would…” is clearly not insulting. It would only be insulting to someone who wants to agree with this device. IMO you are stupid and haven’t thought through the real implications. Clearly some of you guys here can’t even read?

    Also what is funny is this device has been displayed and talked about in July last year (2009). I has now become commercially available. (So much for the comment policy “Don’t advertise your stuff,”)

  11. Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says:

    It is amazing what you can find. MVA’s have been discussed for years. An interesting historical one “Hovering n History”.
    The US Army investigated such devices in the 50s and 60s, but the technology wasn’t advanced enough.
    The US has been using unmanned UVAs have been already used on the battlefield.

  12. ikepod says:

    Hon. Salacious B. Crumb… your arrogance(?) is out of place here, resp. your sense of humor is… 🙂 just kidding.
    Question: have you ever had a viable idea in your life and thought, hmmm, the idea is great, but can’t do it because it hurts the environment, or better, it is not needed…?
    This “jet”pack may be a bit bulky, but in 40 years nobody has been able in the US, with all its industrial and scientific might, to realize a Jet-pack that can keep a man in the air for up to 30 minutes. Crazy ideas have often been picked up by the military, but this one could be even commercially a success, I am convinced.

  13. Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says:

    …. yeah. Is it 1st April yet?

  14. sail4evr says:

    from Urban Dictionary
    Crumb – ” A person who is a surplus of negative connotations. This person is lazy, stupid, ugly, worthless, and/or pathetic. Calling someone such a word tells them they are useless and need to get up and do something with their life.”

  15. Aodhhan says:

    I think this is a fantastic idea. I don’t see it being used as an every day, go to work, make money sort of transportation. However, I do see it being something you would do on the weekend with some friends. Like dirt biking, dune riding, etc.
    Since it has to comply with FAA rules, it likely will not have the equipment it takes to fly in controlled airspace, which means it pretty much has to stay below 800-1200 feet (depending on location), and definitely cannot be anywhere near an airport or large city.

  16. Homme du Sud says:

    sail4evr said;

    from Urban Dictionary
    Crumb – ” A person who is a surplus of negative connotations. This person is lazy, stupid, ugly, worthless, and/or pathetic. Calling someone such a word tells them they are useless and need to get up and do something with their life.”

    So you know me then.

    I prefer; “the soft inner part of a loaf of bread”, actually.

    Thanks for paying attention!

  17. Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says:

    Hey! I thought all along it was after the last bits of the cake!

  18. Paul Eaton-Jones says:

    Finally after 50+ years we get something the techie boffins promised us. When I was a small boy all the encyclopaedias were full of amazing stuff like this. By the turn of the century we’d all be going to work in our jet-packs and we’d each have a hovercraft. We would be taking holidays on the moon and visiting granny on Mars and there’d be a small fusion reactor on the corner of the street providing clean, limitless energy for every neighbourhood. One out of five isn’t a good return on future projections. Boo-hoo.

  19. EdR says:

    Let’s see. 30 miles, 30 minutes: 60 mph. 30 miles, 5 gallons: 6 mpg. It’s a Hummer!

  20. Dark Gnat says:

    Well, I want one. It would make my commute much more fun. Also, I could take mad shortcuts…no need for roads.

    Downside – drive thru will be harder.

    Solution to downside: Merge this with a Segway….


    Last question: Can you get booster rockets?

  21. Aqua says:

    So like has that thing been installed in my ejection seat yet, or what?

  22. Aqua says:

    Like to see it with an inflatable wing…(s?)

  23. frankenstein says:

    Re: “Crumb” Please don’t feed the Trolls

  24. Lawrence B. Crowell says:

    The jet pack is to the airplane what motorcycles are to cars. I suspect they are proportionately more dangerous as well. Not everybody is going to be flying around in these things, unless you want the urban airspace to become a dangerous swarm of these flying around. Jet packs are likely to be an impliment used by police departments.


  25. Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says:

    frankenstein Says:
    Re: “Crumb” Please don’t feed the Trolls

    I am far from being a troll. There are serious issues with these devices, because they could be used for purposes outside the realms they are designed.

    Also it IS a “ducted fan vehicle” and not really “a jetpack”. False advertising?

  26. P. Edward Murray says:

    Sounds pretty neat but how would you get around?

    And kudos to New Zealanders for finally doing this:)

    As to the use as a weapon well, I doubt it, having to spend $100,000.00 on it? Yeah that’s going to work real well…

    In the movies probably in real life nope…

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