The personal jetpack has been a science fiction fantasy for nearly a century. But it won't be long now before the "world's first practical jetpack" makes it to market.
Martin Aircraft, the New Zealand developers of the jetpack, recently received a flying permit to conduct manned tests of the flying machine, AFP reports:
Martin Aircraft chief executive Peter Coker said the certification was a significant milestone in the development of the jetpack, which the company hopes to begin selling next year.
"For us it's a very important step because it moves it out of what I call a dream into something which I believe we're now in a position to commercialise and take forward very quickly," Coker told AFP.
The jetpack will be sold, starting mid-2014, to military and first responder crews. Then, in 2015, the company expects a simpler model to go on sale to the general public.
Want to get your hands on one? It'll cost you: $150,000-$250,000. Fortunately, while you wait for the prices to drop, you can watch this video of a recent test flight (just turn down the volume, it's loud):
Photo: Martin Aircraft