Christchurch-based Martin Aircraft Company has revealed details of its latest jetpack prototype.
The result of many years’ work by Christchurch inventor Glenn Martin in his garage, the Martin Jetpack was named as one of Time Magazine’s Top 50 inventions for 2010.
Martin Aircraft Company’s CEO, Peter Coker, said that the P12 prototype was a “huge step up” from the previous prototype.
“Changing the position of the jetpack’s ducts has resulted in a quantum leap in performance over the previous prototype, especially in terms of the aircraft’s maneuverability,” said Mr Coker.
“We have full certification from the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority for manned flight and have made great progress in recent months in increasing the flight time of the aircraft,” he said.
The Martin Aircraft Company’s present focus is on further improving the performance of the jetpack through some engine refinements in order to ready the jetpack for commercial sale.
The company has appointed James West to take on the role of Chief Finance Officer on a temporary basis with a particular emphasis on assisting the company prepare for the launch of an IPO in the near future. Mr West was formerly CFO at Pyne Gould Guinness, Christchurch.
“The jetpack continues to attract interest from potential customers and investors worldwide,” said Mr Coker. “We are focussing initially on developing the jetpack for use as a first responder vehicle and heavy lift unmanned air vehicle”.
The company is also developing a jetpack simulator that will be available for sale in the next few months.