By Evan Ackerman
We posted about the Martin
Jetpack Ducted Fanpack last year, and since then, Martin has been getting some criticism for the fact that in most of their demos so far (including the one we saw), the jetpack has only been seen operating a foot or so off the ground, accompanied by a couple nervous looking attendants ready to grab onto the thing should it develop a mind of its own. To quell some of this, Martin has released the following video of the jetpack maneuvering around all by itself:
So yes, it still hasn’t gotten far enough off the ground to show that it’s capable of achieving significant altitude without the assistance of ground effect… My first question would be, how far off the ground would I WANT to get in something like this anyway? But Martin has thoughtfully included an integrated ballistic (i.e. rocket propelled) parachute for the entire unit, which should keep you mostly safe even in a low altitude failure.
The Martin Jetpack is capable of 30 minutes of flight at 60 mph and 8,000 feet, which is more than enough for your commute. It doesn’t technically require a pilot’s license, and has just two primary controls: left joystick controls pitch and roll, right joystick controls yaw and throttle. It runs on standard automotive fuel, too. The cost? Only about $100,000, and the first 10 units should be delivered sometime this year.