Tony O'Kane | Mar 4, 2009

Want to shave precious minutes off your morning commute? Need to leap tall buildings in a single bound? The New Zealand-developed Martin Jetpack could be right up your alley.

The brainchild of NZ inventor Glenn Martin, the Martin Jetpack consists of a 150kW (200hp) piston engine, two ducted fans, a harness and, uh, not much else.

Capable of keeping its pilot aloft for up to 30 minutes, the Martin Jetpack has been in development for the past 27 years and is now finally ready to go on sale.

Two Australian businessmen have already ponied up the $158,503 AUD that each Jetpack costs, and the first production models are set to be completed later this year.

Military and government agencies, rescue organisations and border patrol authorities are also reportedly interested in the Martin Jetpack .

It's not clear what reaction federal aviation authorities are likely to have to the Martin Jetpack, but Martin himself assures us that operating the device is a relatively simple process:

"You strap it on, rev the nuts out of it and it lifts you up off the ground," he said.

Martin Jetpack

Will you need a pilot's licence to operate one of these? We'd certainly hope so. Given the amount of earth-bound drivers that have yet to master the humble automobile, can you imagine the carnage that would ensue if any number of them were to take to the air?

[Herald Sun]

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