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Step aside McFly, jetpacks are almost here


Listen up people, the wait is nearly over. Hoverboards may be a while away but the next best thing, jetpacks, looks tantalisingly close.

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New Zealand company Martin Aircraft announced today it had completed testing the P12 jetpack and you too could soon have your own machine for those zippy flights around the neighbourhood.

“As a result of the implementation of advanced aircraft sub-systems and better design, the manned flight testing phase has confirmed significant improvements in aircraft handling and maneuverability from earlier test flights,” the company said in a statement to the ASX today.

Chief executive officer and managing director Peter Coker said the world’s first commercial jetpack could be on the market by the second half of 2016..

“Today’s completion of manned test flying is part of that journey to get our aircraft ready for our first responder customer,” Coker said.


The future of jetpacks is nearly here. Image: Martin Jetpack

The craft can be piloted or remotely controlled and is being developed for commercial, military, search and rescue applications as well as recreational use.

Martin Aircraft stated it was building the world’s first “practical” jetpack, conceived and developed by Glenn Martin in Dunedin in 1981, which is expected to have more than 30 minutes’ flying time, speeds of up to 74km/h and and can travel to an altitude of up to 1000 metres.

It can take off and land vertically and, due to its small dimensions, it can be operated in confined spaced, such as close to or in between buildings and near trees.

Described as “disruptive technology”, the jetpack was similar to a helicopter when first developed and was able to be flown piloted or by remote control.

A piloted flight display of the P12 model has been scheduled in China early in December.

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