There are few of us who havenât dreamed of getting our hands on the jetpacks seen in James Bond films and the Star Wars movies but, despite millions of pounds worth of investment, the market has struggled to deliver. Until now. Peter Coker, Chief Executive of Australia-based firm, Martin Jetpack, has unveiled what heâs described as the worldâs first commercial, personal jetpack.
Production of the P-14 jetpack is due to begin next month and, Martin Jetpack hopes to start taking its first orders for the carbon-fibre, petrol-powered aircraft by the end of the year. The jetpack is said to be able to release speeds of up to 74km/hr (the equivalent of nearly 50mph) and can reach heights of some 3,000 ft. Thatâs over three times higher than even the worldâs tallest building.
Before consumers add it to their Christmas list, however, itâs worth pointing out that the P-14 will cost anywhere between $200k and $250k (equal to around £138k-£173k). Whatâs more, the jetpacks have already been ear-marked by emergency services and, dependent upon their success, may be delayed full consumer release. Avwatch and Dubai Civil Defence have both expressed interest in Martin Jetpackâs latest solo aircraft and the P-14 is expected to be used to help fight fires, police the streets and protect border security.
The P-14 has been a number of years in the making; it was borne out of Martin Jetpack Founder, Glenn Martinâs ambition of making dream a reality Ã¡ la James Bondâs Thunderball. Inspired by the Bell Rocket Belt, with which viewers saw Sean Connery as Bond take flight, Martin sought to up the power, endurance and safety of the jetpack. While that initially saw the employment of a two-stroke, V4 petrol engine to generate enough power for a 45 minute fight, the P-14 and P-15 models make use of a more powerful rotary engine and can now fly for longer periods of time. Jetpacks are fitted with a parachute for safety as standard.