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Martin Jetpack is currently accepting enquiries from commercial customers for its $86000 jetpack. It is expected that early orders for sales to private individuals will commence late 2010. It has a 31.5 mile range and maximum speed of 63 mph. This is a major change from the jetpack used by Sean Connery decades ago which had a very short range.
The commercial availability of jetpacks and flying cars can move the complaint about what has not happened in old complaints about future predictions to some new topic or at least variations on this complaint.
Where is a jetpack or flying car that I can afford ?
Why aren’t jetpacks and flying cars common ?
Safety and Fuel
The Martin Jetpack is equipped with a ‘Ballistic Parachute’. If something untoward happens the pilot pulls a toggle and a small propellant (similar to one used in a car airbag) is fired rapidly deploying a parachute. The pilot, Jetpack and parachute descend as one. The use of ‘ballistic parachutes’ is now quite common in general aviation. For example, they are standard equipment on the Cirrus series of single engine aircraft.
It runs on premium gasoline.
Currently the pilot must weigh over 140 lbs and under 240 lbs. Pilots must pass our unique Martin Aircraft training program.
Some people will use these for work; most of us will not be able to do this for some time. The automobile has too many advantages for most people, some still ride motorcycles, but the majority prefer the comfort of a car. In addition, with the current air traffic control system commuting would not be possible. The US FAA is currently developing a “highways in the sky” technology; basically 3D highways based on automated GPS tracks. Initial tests have been positive but the full system is not likely to be implemented for at least 10 years.
Thus the main use for Jetpacks will initially be recreational. This is similar to current ATV, snowmobile, jet ski, and ultralight use.
We reviewed the status of flying cars in Dec, 2009
The Parajet skycar costs $80,000 and can be ordered now and is scheduling deliveries for late 2010 Parajet flew and drove its prototype from London to Timbuktu in January 2009.
Samson Motors anticipate Switchblade flight testing to begin third quarter 2010, initial kit deliveries will begin approximately one year after completion of the flight testing program. Target price of the kit is $60,000 without engine or avionics, resulting in an overall targeted price of approximately $85,000.
The Transition is flown by licensed pilots in and out of existing local airports. Once on the ground, with the wings folded the vehicle can be driven on any road. The Transition is powered by a certified aircraft engine that runs on unleaded automotive gasoline. Perfect for trips between 100 and 500 miles, the Transition is not designed to replace anyone’s automobile. First customer delivery is anticipated to be in 2011. Categorized as a Light Sport Aircraft, the Transition requires a Sport Pilot certificate to fly. The Transition costs $194,000.
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Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.