Kiwi jetpacks take off in US

  • Breaking
  • 19/11/2014

Christchurch invention the Martin Jetpack has made its first major sale.

The one-man vertical flying machines have been bought by an American company that will use them for homeland security and search and rescue in the US.

Martin Aviation executive Peter Coker says it's a deal that's going to set the tone for the company in the future.

"It's at our target market which is around homeland security, first responder environment and it's pretty exciting for us."

It will start with only two or three jetpacks and a simulator.

They won't be delivered until 2016, to Boston-based company called Avwatch, which assists search and rescue operations and supplies airborne technology for the country's emergency services.

The experimental jetpack has been in development since 1981 - and Time magazine named it as one of its top 50 inventions in 2010.

But with the rise of cheaper and safer unmanned drones in recent years, jet pack sales have failed to take off.

Avwatch is actually the jetpack's first ever customer and that's a big relief - Martin Aviation's just about to float on the Australian share market.    

"At the early stage it's a small growth deal, but when we move this into the market place in the United States then I can say we are in the tens of millions of dollars," says Mr Coker.

Martin Aviation is also looking for jetpack pilots to fly the machines. They say they've already had a staggering 97 applicants from around the world.

3 News

source: newshub archive

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