Despite regulatory questions about its large-scale commercial future, the Martin Jetpack, with which users can suit up and travel like Ironman, is expected to make its maiden flight in China on Dec 6.
Liu Ruopeng, chairman of Shenzhen-based Kuang-Chi Science Ltd, the largest shareholder in the jet pack’s producer, said the company will hold the event to demonstrate some of the Martin Jetpack’s capabilities on.
The jet pack, created by New Zealand’s Martin Aircraft Co, is said to be able to fly nonstop for 30 to 45 minutes at altitudes of up to 1,500 meters. It is powered by a gasoline engine and has two ducted fans.
Liu, who introduced the fantasy-film-like technology at a tech conference held by Tencent Holdings Ltd on Sunday, said they hope to make the device the world’s first commercialized personal aircraft.
The company has been selling the jet pack on e-commerce site jd.com for 1.6 million yuan ($251,840) since late July, and he said it has secured about 1,000 people in China who are very interested.
“Our potential buyers can be divided into two categories. One is the emergency services sector, such as ambulance officers and firefighters, and the other is flight enthusiasts,” he said.
Liu, whose business is built on the potential of flight equipment, is a firm believer that the future of human beings lies in getting their feet off the ground.
“Mega-cities are all gridlocked with traffic. Imagine on a rooftop one or two people wearing jet packs. They can simply fly from one building to another, saving all the time they would be trapped in terrible traffic,” he said. Hong Kong-listed Kuang-Chi Science became a major shareholder in Martin Aircraft after striking a deal to buy $21 million worth of shares in its initial public offering on the Australian Security Exchange in February.
According to Liu, the jet pack has customers worldwide, mainly from the United States, India, China and Eastern Europe. “Just like with any new product, the demand for the jet pack has largely exceeded our production capacity at this stage,” he said, adding that they expect to deliver the first units in the third quarter of next year.