If you are truly a STAR WARS fanatic, then you undoubtedly know that Boba Fett flew a jetpack in the battle that found Jabba the Hutt defeated in Return of the Jedi. And, if you are also a Chuck Norris fan, you probably saw him flying one in an episode of WALKER: TEXAS RANGER. A real boon to individual air travel, for the most part they have had limited air-time capacity and no real functional value. Until now. It is reported that Dubai has purchased 20 Jetpacks from the MARTIN AIRCRAFT COMPANY out of New Zealand to be used to fight skyscraper fires. And, if flying a Jetpack appeals to you, you may want to consider JETPACKS AND CESSNA 208 TRAINING.
“Well, I would like to think that we can teach someone to fly anything that has an engine,” Dale Wolcott, President of TURBINE TRAINING in Manhattan, Kansas, mused, “but I have to confess that Jetpacks may be a little bit out of our realm of expertise.”
The Martin Jetpack does, of course, have an engine – a V4 200 horsepower gas engine, in fact. It can fly to a height of over 3000 feet; stay “airborne” for over 30 minutes; handle up to 240 pounds and fly at a speed just a tad over 45 mph.
“From what I understand,” Jason Wolcott, TURBINE TRAINING’s Vice President, offered, “Dubai has a large number of high rises, and this provides them with a viable alternative to current methods for fighting fires in these tall buildings. And,” he continued, “they are investing a fair amount of money to conduct this experiment.”
To date, the price for a Martin Jetpack is estimated to be somewhere between $150,000 - $250,000 making their total investment between $3M and $5M. The product was introduced at the DUBAI AIR SHOW in early November, 2015. A commercial version of the craft is expected sometime in 2016.
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(To learn more about this topic, research “Dubai and Jetpacks”.)