A company in New Zealand is now one step closer to making the jet pack, a long-time staple of science fiction stories, a travel reality.
The Martin Aircraft Company, based in Christchurch, says it has been given approval by New Zealand's Civil Aviation Authority to conduct test flights for its prototype jetpack. The company says the personal aircraft can fly higher than a kilometer and travel at speeds of 112 kilometers per hour.
The company already has conducted remote-controlled unmanned flight tests of the pack. They hope to have the aircraft commercially available sometime next year.
Martin Aircraft intends to initially market the jetpacks for emergency and defense use, while continuing to develop a lighter recreational version.
They say they have had more than 10,000 inquiries about purchasing the jet pack, which they intend to sell for about $150,000.
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