Martin Jetpacks for sale on Trade Me attract plenty of attention - and criticism

A Martin Jetpack
One is currently selling for $3000 - but won't help you beat the rush-hour traffic. Photo credit: Supplied / Skylarc / TradeMe

Two jetpacks from liquidated Kiwi firm Martin Aircraft are up for sale on Trade Me - but neither will allow you to beat Auckland's rush-hour traffic.

Skylarc Asset Realisation listed the jetpacks with a $1 reserve last week, with one currently selling for just over $10,000 and the other for $3000. They are selling the jetpacks on the orders of Grant Thornton, the liquidators of the original company.

Previous auctions netted $158,200 for one and $37,600 for a second, the latter going to MOTAT.

Neither of the jetpacks for sale are in a state to be flown, however.

The custom made 200hp V4 petrol engines that powered them aren't part of the package. They are also both missing other components that would be needed for them to function.

Even if someone was able to put together a new engine, they wouldn't legally be able to fly the jetpack as registration has been cancelled by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

However, the "remarkable and historic piece of New Zealand aviation history" is still attracting attention, with the one in better condition amassing nearly 64,000 views and 157 bids.

The Model P12 is made from carbon fibre, with a frame to protect the pilot and controlled using joysticks on the arms.

It was previously used in an advertisement for a sunglasses brand featuring top American golfer Bubba Watson.

The Question & Answers section has, unsurprisingly, drawn both positive and negative comments.

One TradeMe user suggested it was only fit for the dump.

"If you're prepared to buy it you can do what you like, but it would be a crime to destroy one of the last examples of a unique kiwi invention," the sellers replied.

"Despite not making it commercially it was amazing what they achieved, at the time it was unlike any flying machine before it."

Another suggested it wasn't so much an example of kiwi ingenuity but of "kiwi fraud".

"Did any of the investors they conned get their money back? You should be giving any proceeds to them," the person asked.

"Like any complex technical moonshot project there is risk associated with it," Skylarc replied.

"And like any business you invest in there is a risk of failure and losing your investment, this is something anyone investing in any company needs to understand.

"Although I couldn't comment on this case, in any normal liquidation the proceeds ultimately go back to the creditors of the company, including the shareholders."

Not all were as serious however, with one asking how much trouble they'd be in if they flew it.

"Depends who sees you," came the reply.

Potential bidders have until Sunday evening to put their top bids in.