If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
If, like many people, you’d choose the ability to fly, well, your wish could become a reality as early as next year.
Last week, I told you that an incredible, new form of transportation  is coming – albeit slowly.
I was referring to the Malloy Aeronautics Hoverbike  – a new-age “flying bike” that takes the best aspects of a helicopter and offers increased versatility and maneuverability.
Well, now we can get rid of traditional vehicles, too.
Ladies and gentlemen… the jetpack is here!
Formula One-Style Safety Hits the Skies
At the Paris Air Show last month, visitors got a thrilling look at the new Martin Jetpack – the world’s first commercial jetpack that’s set to launch at the end of 2016.
Following decades of research, tests showed that the machine was able to soar 3,280 feet in the air and zip along at speeds of up to 74 mph.
Now, if you’re feeling queasy at that thought, keep in mind that it most likely wouldn’t often need to fly that high or that fast.
And needless to say, the designers have built in some strong safety features. Peter Coker, CEO and Managing Director of Martin Jetpack, reveals, “We have safety built into the structure itself. Very similar to a Formula One racing car and a new ballistic parachute that’s the basis of how we can be as safe as we possibly can. It opens at very low altitude and actually saves both the aircraft and the pilot in an emergency.”
And speaking of emergencies, that’s the main thinking behind the jetpack at the moment. The designers believe it’s perfect for emergency response and search and rescue missions.
Indeed, the fact that it can take off and land vertically, as well as land on rooftops makes it a compelling alternative to traditional helicopters when it comes to operating in more confined spaces. It can also carry up to about 265 pounds in payload weight, and buzz around for 30 minutes on a gasoline engine – long enough to complete many missions, or at least perform some reconnaissance.
“One of the Finest Machines I’ve Ever Seen”
Now, despite its touted benefits in emergency situations, I’m sure many people will think this is still nothing more than a lavish gimmick.
And that may be true. There’s a definite appeal to rich thrill-seekers here, too – especially with a price tag of $150,000.
But New Zealand-based Martin Jetpack has secured $40-million worth of funding from Chinese aerospace company Kuang-Chi Science – whose Chairman Dr. Ruopeng Liu labels it “one of the finest machines I’ve ever seen.”
Time will tell.
But this innovation is bringing jetpacks from the realm of mere dreams and science fiction whizzing into reality.
The first deliveries are penciled in for late 2016, so start saving up!