It was cold where Glen Martin lived in New Zealand and one of the few places to stay warm was the library. There he read what he needed to become a biochemist but to take a break he read the Wright Brothers diaries and studied what it would take to build a jetpack.
It paid off at the world’s biggest public airshow at Oshkosh Wisconsin in July. He unveiled the Martin Jetpack, a two-engine, gasoline powered backpack that can lift a 280-pound person and transport that person through the air.
Martin’s Jetpack, for which people — mostly in the United States — have plunked down a $10,000 deposit, is now undergoing flight testing. It uses gasoline, can fly for a half hour, and, theoretically, can fly to 8,000 feet.
He figured a few rich people would buy one, but that most people wouldn’t be interested in the concept, until 10,000 people showed up to see it in Wisconsin in July. That, he says, has changed who he thinks might buy a jetpack.
The Experimental Aircraft Association produced the following video following the demonstration in July.
If you’d like to hear more from Glenn Martin, here’s the unedited (for broadcast) interview.