The Martin JetPack isn't technically a jetpack — it uses two ducted fan propellers to provide 600 pounds of thrust. Inventor Glenn Martin showed off his device at the AirVenture show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, taking the system up to six feet for 45 seconds. He claims the JetPack should be able to reach heights of 6,000 feet for thirty-to-forty minutes, far longer than older single-person flying systems like the Bell Rocket Belt, which used hydrogen peroxide reacting violently against silver-lined gills.
But part-time Mythbuster and full-time Metafilter commenter Adam Savage isn't ready to call it success:
Am I the only one that sees 2 guys guiding this thing? I know I'm not but here's the thing: The bugbear with this type of vehicle isn't getting airborne, it's stability. He says that it can go to 8k feet for 1/2 hour. That's theoretically. I see a device going 1 foot off the ground with 2 big guys guiding it. In fact, I've seen not a single untethered pic.
I'd love it to be true, but I see too many warning flags. Sounds like a money raising stunt. Every time one of these companies is about to run out of money, they hold a "demonstration" and make a prediction that they'll be selling them within some short period of time. I doubt it. Moller's been predicting that people will be flying to work in 10 years, for the last 40 years.
Trek Aerospace spent millions on the stability problem, still are. Until I see this thing fly around a house without a tether and under the control of the driver, it's still snake oil. It's no better than that bloody Moller skycar imho.
Martin plans to sell the JetPack for just under $100,000 after further testing. I wish him the best of luck and offer my fragile, flailing body should he need a civilian test pilot.
Video after the jump.