Jetpack aims at emergency services applications

The Engineer’s Video of the Week comes from New Zealand’s Martin Aircraft Company and shows footage of the company’s Martin Jetpack shot in April this year.

Whilst not exactly recent, the video is testimony to over three decades of perseverance from founding director Glenn Martin who began developing his jetpack in 1981.

Martin didn’t let go of his dream and this week received vindication for his idea with the announcement of a partnership to develop airborne technology capabilities for the United States Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense, and other federal, state, and local agencies.

The deal with Massachusetts-based Avwatch will see work targeted at improving the capabilities of first responders, including search and rescue, security, police, ambulance, fire and natural disaster recovery through the purchase and supply of Martin Jetpacks and relevant products and services. Avwatch will utilise a number of Martin Jetpacks in the demonstration of potential capabilities to their customers.

The jetpacks themselves have a V4 engine helping the machines achieve a range of 30km, flight endurance of 30 minutes and top speed of 40kts. The pilot can take the machine to a ceiling of 3,000ft AMSL and can deploy the ballistic parachute system in the event of an anomaly.