June 11, 2011

The Rocketeer spotted in New Zeland?

After 28 years of tinkering in his garden shed Glenn Martin has flown his jet pack to heights of 5000ft. Now Martin believes he's poised to launch the first practical jet pack onto the world's domestic and business markets.

After being greeted by a fanfare 3 years ago at the first launch of his jetpack, Glenn Martin was mocked for only flying 3 feet from the ground. "It just makes you more determined", Glenn said soon after the disappointing first flight. Preparing for their first large-scale test flight, "we'll play it by ear and see how it goes", Glenn says nervously.

To demonstrate flight high above the ground and the concept of the ballistic parachute as an emergency safety system, the Martin Jetpack was flown to around 1500m (5000ft), brought down from this height and an off-the-shelf ballistic parachute was deployed.The aircraft was flown by James via radio control in a chasing helicopter - also demonstrating the ability of the technology to apply to UAV applications. Jetson, Martin Aircraft Company's weighted dummy was on board, and the parachute was placed out front for visibility and weight balancing.The video features inventor Glenn Martin and RC pilot James Bowker. The jetpack ascended initially at 4m/s (800ft/min) and the climb took about 6 minutes. The parachute was deployed at around 3000ft above ground level. The aircraft sustained some damage on impact, but we would expect that it is likely a pilot would have walked away from this emergency landing. The total flight was just under 10 minutes.

Martin Jet Pack on YouTube

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