Martin Aircraft's commercial jetpack is off to China

The Martin Aircraft jetpack. Supplied.

The Martin Aircraft Company is sending four of its jetpacks and one pilot training simulator to China.

The New Zealand company today announced an agreement with Shenzhen KuangChi Dream Technology Company, a subsidiary of Martin Aircraft’s majority shareholder KuangChi Science Limited.

The sale, for undisclosed terms, follows the Martin Jetpack Shenzhen flight demonstration in December 2015. Delivery is expected by the end of the year.

“It is anticipated that subject to obtaining necessary regulatory approval as an experimental aircraft, Martin Aircraft will initially operate and support the aircraft in China under a service and support agreement still to be negotiated,” the company says.

The release of the world’s first commercial jetpack was expected in 2016 but was delayed by more than a year, sparking a restructure at the company.

The company cut jobs, reorganised the management team and the board of directors was cut to five from seven.

Its shares last traded at 9 cents each, down from a 12-month high of 68 cents.

Here’s one of the jetpack prototypes in operation:

New Zealander Glenn Martin has been developing the concept for Martin Jetpacks for more than 30 years. The machines had been expected to retail for $US200,000 but a price will be determined later.

The opportunity to buy a jetpack off the shelf may take some time. The company says the idea of the recreational jetpack is an aspirational one.

Martin Aircraft today posted an after tax net loss of $NZ2.6 million ($A2.4 million) for the six months to December. The company reported it was holding $NZ17 million ($A15.6 million) in cash.

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