Could We Really Have Personal Jetpacks By 2015?

New Zealand-based Martin Aircraft has just been given the go-ahead to begin manned test flights of its P12 jetpack. If all goes well, a (very expensive) version could be on the market in as little as two years.

What's the Latest Development?


The New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority has given Christchurch-based Martin Aircraft the go-ahead to begin conducting manned tests of its P12 jetpack, which has design changes that have "resulted in a quantum leap in performance over the previous prototype," according to CEO Peter Coker. Those changes include a repositioning of the fan ducts, which makes it much easier to steer. The test flights will be done under strict safety conditions, with the pilot restricted to a maximum height of 20 feet above the ground and 25 feet above the water.

What's the Big Idea?

Long the stuff of science fiction, jetpacks of various types have been developed over the decades, but few have seen any real success, and none have come close to being used in practical earthbound applications. Martin Aircraft founder Glenn Martin first began working on his version in his garage over 30 years ago. If tests go well, Coker says a special version for the military and first-responder crews should be ready by next summer, and a simplified personal version could come the year after that. Not surprisingly, it won't be cheap: The estimated cost will be in the US$150,000-250,000 range.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at Agence France-Presse

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Reigning in brutality - how one man's outrage led to the Red Cross and the Geneva Conventions

The history of the Geneva Conventions tells us how the international community draws the line on brutality.

Napoleon III at the Battle of Solferino. Painting by Adolphe Yvon. 1861.
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Henry Dunant's work led to the Red Cross and conventions on treating prisoners humanely.
  • Four Geneva Conventions defined the rules for prisoners of war, torture, naval and medical personnel and more.
  • Amendments to the agreements reflect the modern world but have not been ratified by all countries.
Keep reading Show less

The most culturally chauvinist people in Europe? Greeks, new research suggests

Meanwhile, Spaniards are the least likely to say their culture is superior to others.

Image: Pew Research Center
Strange Maps
  • Survey by Pew Research Center shows great variation in chauvinism across Europe.
  • Eight most chauvinist countries are in the east, and include Russia.
  • British much more likely than French (and slightly more likely than Germans) to say their culture is "superior" to others.
Keep reading Show less

What is the Green New Deal?

The Green New Deal is an ambitious attempt to fight climate change, but is it destined to hit the political skids?

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stops by the Sunrise Movement's sit-in protest at Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi's office. Credit: Sunrise Movement / Twitter
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Recent protests by the Sunrise Movement have taken the Green New Deal from forgotten policy to trending hashtag.
  • The Green New Deal aims to move the U.S. to 100% renewable energy within a decade.
  • Proponents also hope to catalyze a top-down restructuring of the U.S. economy and advance social justice issues.
Keep reading Show less