Martin Jetpack Reaches Flight Milestone, Sets Records
New Video Shows Progress
April 23, 2009 — Martin Aircraft Company of New Zealand, makers of the Martin Jetpack that was demonstrated at EAA AirVenture 2008, announced several new flight records for jetpacks and unveiled a new video showing a quantum leap over what attendees saw in Oshkosh last year.
“We have been asked about our progress,” said Glenn Martin, founder. “The two most common queries we receive are, ‘When are the guys running alongside going to retire?’ and ‘Is the aircraft stable?’” During last year’s Oshkosh demos, the jetpack required two people, one on either side, to “spot” the jetpack pilot to ensure flight stability. (See video of last year’s demonstration.)
“We have now passed our 40 hours flight test milestone with this prototypes,” Martin said. One of the jetpack’s major advancements, he said, is electric stabilization, which was implemented as a result of the many industry contacts made at Oshkosh last year. “Touching base with leaders in the aviation industry was brilliant,” he said, noting meetings with Boeing, NASA, Rockwell Collins, and others. Rockwell’s Micro INS (advanced integrated inertial sensor suite) technology essentially allowed Martin to incorporate fly-by-wire technology with much better stability, Martin said.
Martin plans to return to Oshkosh this year and hopes to have the latest version of the jetpack with him. Martin will at the very least appear to show the aviation world the progress that’s been made through presentations and videos, but nothing is confirmed yet.
The company’s jetpack program is advancing well, he said. “We keep breaking jetpack records and have flown the current machine over 1,800 times.”
Martin Aircraft has established the following records:
- The world’s highest-time jetpack pilot: (Bill Clemence with over 8 hours of flight time).
- The world’s heaviest jetpack pilot (Glenn Martin, 240 lbs)
- The world’s youngest jetpack pilot (William Martin, 11)
“The rocket belt replicas fly for around 30 seconds maximum,” Martin added. “Almost every week we set a new endurance record measured in minutes, not seconds.”