Parachute test brings personal jetpack closer to reality
Martin Aircraft’s $100,000 jetpack was recently tested with the addition of an emergency parachute for safety in case things go wrong mid-flight.
According to the company’s founder Glenn L. Martin, the test was a success.
The 115 kilogram craft uses two ‘superfans’ that blasts air downward to propel the aircraft, can fly more than half an hour, reach more than 1000 feet and cruise at 100 kilometer per hour.
A ballistic parachute for emergency
The company demonstrated its design of a ballistic parachute while the jetpack was flown with the help of a remote control.
The design includes little explosives to open the chute even in an extremely low altitude, which will slow down the craft at a much faster pace.
With a crash test dummy in its driver seat, the pack reached 5000 feet, then to 2000 feet and finally safely descending with the help of the emergency parachute.
Future is a step closer
Martin’s earlier design for a jetpack did not generate much hope as during test flight they only managed to lift off a few feet above ground for a few seconds.
Martin said, “This successful test brings the future another step closer.”
He added, “We limited the jetpack to 800ft/min climb so the chase helicopters could keep up.”
Martin believes with this success, the company is closer to commercial production and will be able to deliver both the manned and unmanned versions within 18 months.
The jetpack has already invoked interest of governments as well as military and emergency services around the world.