October 1, 2013 2:08 pm
Glenn Martin wasn’t satisfied with the regular modes of transportation. Cars are boring, trains are slow, planes are scary and full of screaming children. So Martin created his own company to remedy the problem: Martin Jetpack, a company that began in his parents’ garage and has been around for 30 years. Now, Martin Jetpack has unveiled their latest jetpack prototype, a model that could be available next year.
Here’s what the thing looks like on a test drive:
The contraption will cost something between $150,000 to $250,000 when it becomes available, and pilots will have to wear hearing protection along with a helmet, neck restraints, boots and a fireproof suit. While aloft, the pilot can travel for thirty minutes or about twenty miles. Tech Crunch has some more specifications:
The P12 is said to reach a maximum of 46 mph, with a max flight time of around 30 minutes. In that time, at a normal speed of around 35 mph, the Martin Jetpack can transport an individual about 20 miles. The highest that this personal flight vehicle can go is 3,000 feet, but it’s recommended that the pilot remain around 500 feet.
Why? Well, flying at a lower altitude won’t give enough time for the safety systems to work. This includes a rocket-deployed ballistic parachute.
That might explain the fireproof suit, but it’s more likely that the suit has something to do with the market Martin is targeting. He’s going to release his jetpack first to firemen and policeman. So you won’t see bankers jet packing to work just yet.
More from Smithsonian.com:
Sign up for our free email newsletter and receive the best stories from Smithsonian.com each week.