UK & World News

  • 21 February 2013, 14:27

The Jetpack That 'Anyone Can Fly'

A jetpack costing 66,000 has been unveiled which its makers say could be used by the emergency services, the military and also for leisure.

The aircraft can fly up to a mile high, reach a speed of 62mph and is able to take off from a small space.

A purpose-built petrol engine powers twin-ducted fans that produce enough thrust to lift the craft and pilot in vertical take-off and landing, and enable sustained flight.

The engine is designed to an aviation industry standard to protect the pilot and includes a parachute.

The makers say it is easy to learn how to fly it - the machine has an automated hover function.

It took the California-based Martin Aircraft Company 10 years to develop the jetpack, which weighs 140kg.

According to the firm's founder, Glenn N Martin, the craft is creating a new market in the aviation and recreational vehicle industry.

Initially it was designed with only leisure in mind but the developers have extended the scope of its use to other sectors, including emergency response, defence and recreation, with numerous applications in each sector.

Mr Martin said: "We've had a lot of interests from special forces.

"We've had a lot of interests for using it to take food to troops or a 100kg(load) of something to troops.

"This can fly up and down, straight in the city. It is a lot more cost effective than the helicopter and you don't need to train pilots to fly. Anybody can fly."

People have been experiencing what it is like flying the machine in a simulator at the Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) 2013 in Abu Dhabi.

It is one of the world's largest fairs for defence technology and military equipment.

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