Long the domain of sci-fi television and movies, a functional jetpack could be ready for lift-off soon.
Inventor Glenn Martin has created a working prototype, and it has been approved for manned testing.
Personal jetpacks have been a quirky passion of a small group enthusiasts for many decades. Now the technology could be making a big leap forward: The world’s “first practical jetpack” has been approved for human testing by New Zealand aviation regulators, according to AFP. The manufacturer, Martin Aircraft, hopes to begin selling a jetpack model next year.
Inspired by the TV shows Lost In Space and Thunderbirds, inventor Glenn Martin began working on the technology in his garage more than three decades ago. To use the contraption, a rider straps himself into a frame with two propulsion cylinders and controls movements with a joystick. The latest design incorporates changes to the duct positioning, resulting “in a quantum leap in performance over the previous prototype,” the company’s CEO told AFP.
Fast Company’s own resident jetpack expert, Mac Montandon, author of the book,Jetpack Dreams: One Man’s Up and Down (But Mostly Down) Search for the Greatest Invention that Never Was, said the development looks promising:
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