‘First Practical’ Jetpack Attracts Security, Military Interest

By Graham Warwick
Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology

Martin is not yet taking orders, but it expects to have a production plan in place by year-end. “P12 is a testbed for pre-production processes,” Coker says. “Out of P12, we will make a couple of minor mods, and by the end of this year have the spec for the pre-production aircraft. We are having conversations with preferred suppliers of the main parts, including the carbon-fiber ducts and body, and in the new year will move into production.”

Martin completed a pre-initial public offering round of financing in May, but needs additional funding to launch production. “We are looking for cornerstone investors now,” Coker says. While Jetpack pricing has yet to be set, Martin is targeting $250,000 for military and $150,000 for commercial versions. The initial model will be aimed at first responders, such as fire services. The company has begun looking at a personal jetpack. “That will happen later, as we gain experience with supportability,” he says.

Perhaps the biggest barrier Martin faces is regulatory, as microlight rules prevent them flying below 500 ft. and overpopulated areas. “Class 1 microlight is the 'box' that we originally targeted, but this does curtail its usefulness,” says Coker. “[But] the first responder who is our first targeted [customer] does not require the aircraft to fit into the microlight box, nor do our potential military customers,” he adds.

Martin will work to meet the differing requirements of regulatory authorities in New Zealand and other countries. “[But] I suspect it will be a while before regulatory authorities see this as a motorbike in the sky,” Coker says.

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