Meet the flying man: Martin jetpack approved for manned test flights

Martin Aircraft

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Jetpacks. The ultimate in retro-futuristic transportation is finally at hand. New Zealand's Civil Aviation Authority has finally given Martin Aircraft approval for manned jetpack tests, which means that, yes, we will have real jet-setting rocketeers flying over the New Zealand sky.

The jetpack—which looks like the hottest, sexiest go-kart ever—is powered by a 200-horsepower, four-cylinder V-engine that pushes power to two 1.7-foot-wide fans. Although the jetpack will only go as high as 20 feet in the air in the test flights, it supposedly can reach an altitude of around 8000 feet. It’s also capable of flying for 30 minutes and at speeds of around 60 miles per hour.

Martin Aircraft

Martin Aircraft unveiled its first working prototype of the jetpack back in 2008, and a few years later the backpack propulsion system proved to be effective at carrying a dummy 5000 feet in the air. Glenn Martin, the turbine-based jetpack system’s inventor, hopes to have a military version of the vehicle ready next year. After that, the ambitious engineer plans to release a general-purpose edition in 2015

[Martin Jetpack, AFP via Engadget]

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