Have you ever wanted to fly a jetpack? You’re in luck. Martin Jetpacks plans to start selling them next year.
If you know anything about the history of personal aviation, you’ll know jetpacks have a checkered past. Despite being one of the most prominent methods of transport in any futuristic movie or television show, strapping a rocket to your back hasn’t caught on so far, probably because of the incredible liability.
Jetpack history goes all the way back to the late 1940s, when army engineers designed something called a Rocket Belt, and did demonstrations in the ’50s. The problem? There were stringent requirements for anyone who wanted to strap one on, including a weight limit and the ability to support 125 pounds on your back.
With fuel costs back then of up to $250 a gallon and a flight time of less than a minute, the cool factor of jetpacks didn’t outweigh the costs. Even today, some jetpacks cost close to $200,000 and promise a flight time of a meager nine minutes.
Martin Jetpacks is planning to change all that.
Their pack uses a 200-horsepower gas engine and high-powered fans to take pilots as high as 8,000 feet at speeds of up to 35 miles an hour. Since 2004, the company has built 12 working models, so this isn’t some dude’s science experiment — it’s been in the works for the last decade.
If you were a little kid who watched The Rocketeer on repeat, you might be losing your mind right now in anticipation of flying alongside aircraft.
You have to be rich, though, as Martin plans to sell their jetpacks for $175,000 a pop. And there’s currently no charity geared to donating jetpacks to the poor — at least not until someone at Manolith hits the lottery.
In the the meantime, check out the video of the Martin Jetpack in action, and save your pennies.