Sneak preview of the Martin Jetpack

Here's a short video of the Martin Jetpack that's going to be unveiled at the Oshkosh Airshow next week.


  1. Sorry, but as far as I’m concerned any vehicle that can’t be carried around on one’s back doesn’t count as a “jetpack.”

  2. “Introducing the ultimate personal flying machine”

    Great, now I can get rid of all my old, previous personal flying machines. I never need to buy another one of those, once I get the Martin Jetpack.

    Re: #1 and #2: I agree it doesn’t sound very jet-like. I guess the name “Jetpack” is more marketable than calling it the “Martin Lawnmower-Engine-Big-Fan-Pack”.

  3. “Coming soon to a backyard near you.”

    I sure as hell hope not.

    I have a hard time handling leaf blowers, and I have the sneaking suspicion this is a wee bit louder.

    Woe be to the neighbor who decides to fire that sucker up for a 7 AM commute.

    1. It can’t be worse than a Harley in a communal condo garage. At least the jetpack is outside and won’t have the boost of a giant concrete echo chamber. The first time that my neighbor fired up the hog at 0600, it even freaked him out.

  4. Troy McClure: Dr, are you sure it’s on? I can’t hear a thing.


  5. Oh, the wonders of flying eight inches off the ground. Look out soggy spots in the lawn, because you’ve got NOTHING on me now!

  6. For what it’s worth, it supposed to have a gas-powered engine, can run for 20-30 minutes and meets FAA ultralight regulations. Unfortunately, one of those regulations is:

    “No person may operate an ultralight vehicle over any congested area of a city, town or settlement, or over any open-air assembly of persons.”

  7. Interesting that the video shows only the very base and the hand control really… I guess one has to go to the airshow to see the actual device.

  8. I call shenanigans.

    All you see is the very bottom part as it lifts off, and then a pilot’s-eye view.

    At no time do you see a shot of the thing actually flying.

  9. NOT as cool as the French (?) guy that flies around with the wing equipped with ~actual~ jets strapped to his back.

  10. Was anyone else pissed off at the mythbusters when they said that their homemade jetpack didn’t work. But they didn’t acknowledge that their design mods might have been the reason?

  11. is that a child (in a blue and white track-suit) that he’s heading for at the end of his garden??? i’m a little concerned that the video fades out just before he hits/decapitates/minces it…

  12. #18 He’s “Fusion man”, the guy I referenced in my earlier post. And he truly is awesome. Pretty sure he’s been posted here before.

  13. Sammich, I think it’s a person, with a camera on a tripod. It looks like they are kneeling, with one knee down, facing the pilot, looking through the view-finder.

    Pasketti, why shenanigans? iI’s being unveiled at the airshow next week. Seems like an odd occasion to call “fake”.

  14. I can’t add any comments cleverer than the previous 20 or so. It looks rather sad to me too.

  15. The looks of the base and the sound of an engine-driven propeller are enough to suggest with a reasonable degree of probability it’s a ducted fan vehicle.

    I’ve seen lots of different varieties of ducted fan vehicles that you buckle yourself into as though you were strapping on a jetpack, but I never did see any conclusive evidence for or against the possibility of actually using it to move yourself very far off the ground or over any tangible distance, though. It’s probably possible, if impractical, as long as you can take enough fuel along and use it efficiently with a very lightweight engine.

    Most of the different ducted fan things I’ve seen all look almost identical, too. A sturdy base (such that it stands upright on its own), a seat/harness, and two ducted fans above and to the side of either shoulder of the operator.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the performance you see in the video is close to the best the darn thing can do. Though the Mythbusters are far from being the final word in what’s scientifically feasible, they did a pretty okay job trying to build theirs and wound up with something too weak to lift its own weight.

  16. @13 “Unfortunately” ?!

    I want to make DAMN sure no backyard maker is flying one of those things over MY house. I see enough terrible drivers out there having trouble maneuvering in 2 dimensions, never mind 3. And I’d rather one of them not come crashing through my roof when he hits a downdraft.

  17. Takuan:
    “if ducted then not jet”

    I agree, but then again “jet pack” is used broadly as a misnomer for any number of portable things you can attach to a human to make them fly (or try to).

    Bell’s rocket-powered “jet pack” comes to mind, for example.

    I really don’t like it either but then again the variety of divergent names that would otherwise wind up in circulation would make it a bitch to research anything. While searching for a picture of a ducted fan ultralight like the ones I described, I eventually had to give up and look for a “jetpack”, which of course also gives you results with rockets, jet engines, et al.

  18. “back pack flier”? “Personal VTOL Unit” “Lifter”?
    Self Contained Atmospheric Flying Apparatus- SCAFA?
    FanPac?, ManFan?…… any one…any one….

  19. It doesn’t seem very likely, but the “propeller noise” could be the output from a pulse jet. So it could be a JETpack, although it’d be hellishly loud.

  20. Gotta wait and see. I’ll google for it on the twenty0ninth and see what people post from the show. Tentative want.

  21. The personal aircraft that I always lusted after was conceived of by Charles Zimmerman, an unsung hero among engineers. Called the Hiller Flying Platform (or VZ-1 Pawnee) it had only one significant drawback. It could only be flown by the self-confident. If you doubted that you could control it, you lost control.

  22. “it had only one significant drawback. It could only be flown by the self-confident. If you doubted that you could control it, you lost control.”

    And thus the plot for over nine thousand Japanese anime series was born.

  23. Gonzilla, you’re judging too soon. The thing may be festooned with cup holders for all we know.

  24. Strange that you see him struggling with the joystick as he’s coming down, the screen fades to whiteout and we never see him actually land. I half expected to see an obituary to flash on the screen: “Alan Martin, Test Pilot, 1963-2008”.

  25. #43

    I’d like to see it attached to police segways. Then they’ll be loud AND stupid looking.

  26. Yeah, another ducted fan platform from the sound of things.

    I would love to see the X-jet technology be released for public research.

    For those who are OLD, remember the flying machine that comic book hero Dick Tracy flew around in? Basically it looked very much like the X-jet. A ‘flying trash can’ with 2 crutch-like features for stability & control. I can’t find any pics on the net of it but here is a video of the X-jet/WASP:

    The WASP sure looks like a loud and stupid flying Segway! -)



  27. Its as “jet” as you can get with piston engines it featured on New Zealand One News 28/July/2008. look on youtube tomorrow…..

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