Written By Scott J Grunewald Via 3DPrint.com
Much like a transporter or a flying car, the jetpack has always been a staple in the world of science fiction. Sadly, reality has problems with strapping a rocket to a person’s back and launching them head first into things. Not to mention all of the melting of flesh that a rocket aiming at your legs would cause. Basically, jetpacks, as they have always been envisioned, are probably not a good idea. But that didn’t stop New Zealand’s Glenn Neal Martin from spending thirty years developing his dream aircraft anyway.
At this week’s Dubai Airshow–where the world’s first 3D printed jet-powered UAV also took to the skies–Martin and his company Martin Aircraft announced that they have made a deal to sell twenty of the world’s first commercial ready jetpacks for delivery next year. Their first customer for the Martin Jetpack was the Civil Defence Operations Department of Dubai, for use in reconnaissance and rescue operations. There were no specific financial details about the sale announced, but the Jetpack has a sticker price of $250,000 each. The deal also includes a flight simulator and a full operator training package.
While the Martin Jetpack certainly looks like a lot of fun to fly, don’t hold your breath waiting for the chance to buy one yourself. These will most likely not be a toy for the rich and famous, at least not yet; they were actually designed to replace helicopters in search and rescue operations, first responder operations and certain military applications. The super lightweight jetpack is smaller and far more maneuverable than a helicopter and can weave in and out of city blocks and between buildings with ease. Dubai for instance is planning on using them to combat fires that may start in one of the nation’s many skyscrapers.