Smartphones, terabytes of data fitting into our pockets and even HDTVs are now real. It is the future already and we know that for a fact because a real, working, actual jetpack has been unveiled.

Showcased at a defence exhibition in Dubai, the jetpack has been developed by Martin Aircraft for leisure purposes. The company says it has found strong demand from a wide range of markets, including military, civil defence and recreation. The jetpack will initially be used for government uses such as search and rescue as well as police needs.

The Martin Jetpack

The Martin Jetpack

In its final stages of development, a prototype of the jetpack was demonstrated in a video that made us go, “Wow!” While cartoons and science fiction shows would tell you that a jetpack is supposed to be portable, the real one weighs a hefty 140 Kg and runs on petrol. It can make the person wearing it soar to a height of a mile above ground at a speed of 62Mph. The jetpack is powered by two huge, twin-ducted fans that produce the thrust needed to lift a person off the ground. It could technically be called a fanpack instead of a jetpack, but whatever sails their boat.

The video shows a person zooming around in a closed warehouse-like place. The flight was not too high, barely a few feet above the ground. Martin Aircraft’s website, however, lists a few videos that show the jetpack soaring nearly a mile above the ground. The person wearing it is propped against the jetpack as it takes off. The landing is a bit of an issue, though: the person testing it has to deploy a mini parachute to land when it goes too high.

The company believes it can be a great replacement for helicopters during search and rescue operations, especially in places where the latter cannot be landed. It can also be effectively used to airlift people remotely and send in supplies to disaster struck regions. Not to forget, the jetpack can be used for recreational purposes too.

Of course, the jetpack is quite expensive; like £66,000 per unit expensive. Martin Aircraft is already accepting enquiries from commercial customers via email, but it will definitely not be available any time before mid-2014. The target date for providing the jetpacks to police and other government departments is set at mid-2013, making this a lot more in the present as we would have imagined. Are you ready for the future yet?

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