Aircraft

Martin Jetpack closer to takeoff in first responder applications

The Martin Jetpack will be used to advance technologies used in first responder services
The Martin Jetpack will be used to advance technologies used in first responder services
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In its current state, the Martin Jetpack has a maximum speed of 74 km/h (46 mph)
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In its current state, the Martin Jetpack has a maximum speed of 74 km/h (46 mph)
The Martin Jetpack will be used to advance technologies used in first responder services
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The Martin Jetpack will be used to advance technologies used in first responder services
The Martin Jetpack will be used to advance technologies used in first responder services
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The Martin Jetpack will be used to advance technologies used in first responder services

Last year's redesign of the long-awaited Martin Jetpack was accompanied by plans to begin commercial sales in 2014, starting with emergency response services and individual sales to follow thereafter. The release date for the first responder Jetpack has since been revised to 2016, a prediction bolstered by the fresh announcement of a partnership between Martin Aircraft Company and US company Avwatch to develop air-based, first responder solutions for the US Department of Homeland Security and Department of Defense.

The latest iteration of the Martin Jetpack is founder Glenn Martin's 12th prototype since he started work on the aircraft more than 30 years ago. The most notable change in design was repositioning the Jetpack's ducts, resulting in better performance, namely through enhanced maneuverability.

In its current state, the Martin Jetpack has a maximum speed of 74 km/h (46 mph) and a flight time of 30 minutes on a full tank of premium gas. According to the company this should allow for a flight time of 30 minutes, enough to cover a distance of around 30 km (20 mi).

"The Martin Jetpack is a disruptive technology, much like the helicopter was when first developed, with substantial capabilities which will be very complementary to our solutions we can offer our customers," says Avwatch founder and former coast guard rescue pilot Chris Kluckhuhn. "This is an exciting partnership that allows Avwatch and the Martin Aircraft Company to offer a unique and capability enhancing solution."

Kluckhuhn started Avwatch in 2008 to develop new technologies that would aid first responder services. Its partnership with the Martin Aircraft Company will see the provision of Martin Jetpacks with a view to advancing technologies that could be implemented in search and rescue, ambulance security, police, fire and natural disaster recovery applications.

"It is an honor to be working with Avwatch and together creating the increased value that the Martin Jetpack can bring to Avwatch and to their associated US Government customers," says CEO Peter Coker.

The First Responder Jetpack is slated to cost around US$200,000, plus customization, while the recreational Martin Jetpack "remains at under US$150,000 plus delivery, taxes and duties" according to the company.

Source: Martin Jetpack

17 comments
Adrien
I wish I had some faith that this thing would ever get released, it keeps getting pushed back and re-designed from scratch. Surely it's good enough already?
Facebook User
The Martin Jetpack is the sort of vehicle a major car manufacturer should be developing. The sky is where all travel should be moving to. Vehicles like these will rid the world of traffic jams. Obviously there are obstacles but they can all be overcome.
P17
The range and speed make it no better than an off road (or road) motorbike and considerably pricier. Obviously, gaining access to high "action" zones will be the most useful application. It's too cumbersome and slow for military action.
Billy600
@ Facebook User There already vehicles that can rid the world of traffic jams, and some are even made by car manufacturers. They're called motorbikes. Get one, they're awesome. These things will not be a viable transport solution until some seriously disruptive tech breakthroughs fix the problems of ridiculous inefficiency, high cost and the potential to be really dangerous. Yes, you can say these are obstacles that can be overcome, but the root cause of them is gravity and it's such an obstacle that Newton called it a law.
SteveO
First responders typically require a considerable amount of equipment. They say nothing about the weight limits of this thing. A "typical" person with equipment will easily weigh more than 225 lbs. Will it even get off the ground in this condition??
flink
IMHO, the term "Jet Pack" is a misnomer. This is nothing less than a small VTOL aircraft that the pilot straps himself into. The key word being "onto." Jet packs described in literature and those that built are are worn. Also, IMHO, these will never be released commercially to consumers as an alternative mode of regular transportation. There are several reasons, not the least of which the fact that the vast majority of consumers can barely be trusted to drive a car, let alone manage a vehicle in the air. Think I'm wrong? The next time you go for a drive, see how many drivers never cross the centerline markings and actually come to a full stop at a stop sign or when turning right on red. How about that nice fat "Stop" line that indicates where your car should stop at a signal or sign. Simply things yes, but those are laws for a reason. They are a social contract that allow a driver to have a reasonable expectation of what to expect from other drivers. That's why driving is such a pain in the ass. And you think it'd be better if they were flying? LOL. At best, this will be a flash in the pan fad for the same people who can ratioanalize the need to tear around wilderness areas on ATVs.
steveraxx
Again, another series of comments, all of them negative. If it were left to such people there is no need for anything newly designed, ever! Awesome product, which will only improve with time.
the.other.will
Flying vehicles will not be a solution to traffic problems in urban & suburban areas unless they are flown by an air traffic control system, if ever. The consequences of a collision for an aircraft can be much worse than they are for a ground vehicle, even for one with a parachute like the Martin Jetpack. The Martin Jetpack has jets instead of propellers or fans. The hot exhaust will limit where it can be used. There's a simple solution to the limited lift capacity of the Martin Jetpack. Put smaller people in them.
Rehab
Wonder if the electric quad copter would perform as well? Perhaps more stable. Beautiful design will be waiting future reviews.
Gadgeteer
Others have already told the Facebook User that having lots of vehicles in the sky would be dangerous. But there's one other major reason why all travel shouldn't be "moving to the sky." No flying machine can ever come close to a vehicle with rolling wheels for fuel efficiency. It takes a lot of power, hence a lot of fuel to get aloft and stay there. In a world that's already choking in CO2 and where fuel is already scarce enough to make prices uncertain in the long term, the last thing we should do is burn gas an order of magnitude faster by putting everyone in flying cars.
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