Martin Aircraft Company, the inventors of world’s first practical personal jetpacks have announced that they have signed an agreement with India’s M2K Group based in New Delhi to start productions of Martin Jetpacks in India. Under this agreement India will serve as the manufacturing base of Martin Jetpacks and all orders placed from sub-continent will be fulfilled by the Indian company.
Martin Jetpack is a gasoline powered and twin-duct fan driven personal jetpack which has a range of 50kms and can stay airborne for at least half an hour. Both Martin Aircraft Company and M2K group hope to sell this aircraft to meet various military, civil defense and recreational needs.
Martin Jetpack has been in development for more than 30 years now and is the brainchild of New Zealand’s Glenn Martin. It was first displayed to the public in 2008 in Oshkosh as an experimental aircraft.
In 2010 it reached an altitude of 5000fts. The jet pack is driven by a 2.0 L V4 2 stroke engine powering the two duct fans. The rate of climb is about 1000fts per minute with an estimate service ceiling of 8000fts. It can carry a payload of 120 kgs and reach speeds in excess of 100kmph. An unmanned version of the jet pack is also under testing phase.
Applications of the jetpack are wide due to its small size and ease of handling. Only 20 hours of training is required to master the jetpack and the pilot doesn’t need a valid FAA recognized pilots license since the jetpack is classified under the “ultralight aircraft” category. Military applications include rapid troop insertion, border patrol, air-mobile surveillance, counter terrorism, UAV supply support and UAV missile platform. Civilian applications are Search and Rescue, medical response, tourism and recreation.
M2K Group and Martin Aircraft Company expect preliminary sales will take place to meet military demands and the primary focus of both the parties is to fine tune the jetpack to meet these demands. When asked about how the Government and general public would react to sale of this jetpack to Pakistan the CEO of M2K replied, “With the new Mutual Harmony relationship between India and Pakistan, we don’t think that the general Public or the Government would have any objection of the sale of the Jetpack with the Neighboring country. Anyways companies around the world sell to both the countries. Unless the Indian Government wants us not to sell the product we are open to such clients.”
The developers of the Martin Jetpack have taken special care for pilot safety. The most important of them all Is the ballistic parachute which will trigger automatically in-case of any catastrophic failure or could be triggered by the pilot if he feels to do so. Apart from ballistic parachute there are a number of additional safety features designed into the jetpack, such as impact adsorbing undercarriage, roll cage, enclosed rotors, kevlar composite containment rings, high design factors of safety, +5 -10 G tested structure, hands free stability.
M2K Group is already in talks with various Indian defense departments and is waiting for a chance to demonstrate the jetpack to potential customers. Manufacturing and deliver of first Martin Jetpack in India is expected to begin from 2013 onwards.