Martin Jetpacks cleared for takeoff, shares soar

The Martin Aircraft jetpack.

The Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand has approved Martin Aircraft’s latest model jetpack, the Prototype 12, for manned flight.

Martin Jetpacks, the world’s first commercial jetpacks with their distinctive mid-mounted fan ducts, are prototype aircraft being used for development and flight testing.

They are the forerunner to the Martin Jetpack Next Generation aircraft which the company plans to deliver from the the second half of 2016.

The Prototype 12 jetpack passed a Sports Aircraft Corporation annual airworthiness inspection and received a New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Manned Flight Permit.

Here’s a video for the latest test flights.

CEO Peter Coker says this is a major technical milestone for Martin Aircraft.

“Achieving full flight status for an additional P12 aircraft is a great result for the company and all credit to our flight operations and engineering teams,” he says.

“Having multiple Jetpacks available for manned and unmanned flight enables us to accelerate our flight testing program as well as undertake specific marketing flight display events.”

The aircraft is undergoing final ground runs before starting a remotely piloted test program and then moving to manned flights.

New Zealander Glenn Martin has been developing the jetpack for more than 30 years. The machines are expected to retail for $US200,000 when they are released to the market.

In July, the New Zealand ASX-listed company signed a memorandum of understanding with US-based AvWatch to demonstrate the jetpack’s capabilities to the Department of Homeland Security and the armed forces in the US.

The P12 in action

And earlier in the year, Martin Aircraft announced a deal with a Chinese aviation company. At the Paris Air Show, Martin’s joint venture company, KuangChi Science Martin Jetpack Ltd, signed a co-operation agreement with Beijing Voyage Investment, a subsidiary of AVIC, for the delivery of manned and unmanned jetpacks, simulators and models.

In the last week, the company shares have gone from a low of 42 cents to a high of 76 cents. They are currently trading around 70 cents.

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