Jetpack Maker Gets A Major Funding Boost

Could personal jetpacks finally see the light of day?

For centuries, humans have dreamed of flying. Once people figured out how to properly fly through the air in planes, folks started dreaming of flight without all that bulky airplane attached. Martin Jetpack wants to take the personal flight dream from James Bond special effects to consumer product, and they may be getting closer to that goal. The New Zealand-based personal flying machine makers recently received major financial support after Chinese company KuangChi Science bought a controlling stake in Martin Jetpack. Yesterday, the company started trading on the Australia Security Exchange for the first time.

Martin Jetpack has been at this for a while. Popular Science covered the jetpack’s public debut in 2008, when it flew just a few feet off the ground. In 2011, a prototype jet flew for seven minutes and reached a height of 5,000 feet.

Despite its moniker, the Martin jetpack doesn’t use jets. Instead, it features two large, ducted fans, making it more like a quadcopter than a 747. Though the jetpack has flown in manned tests, it can also fly unmanned, as it does in Martin Jetpack’s latest video: