Jetpack tested with human pilot, could sell for $140,000

Aug. 23, 2013 at 5:13 PM

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand, Aug. 23 (UPI) -- A jetpack intended to carry the wearer to an altitude of 8,000 feet is expected to cost $140,000 when it goes on sale, its New Zealand developer says.

Thirty people have put down deposits on the personal transport machine powered by two vertical engines, a 30-year project by Glenn Martin of Christchurch, New Zealand.

While test flights have been carried out with a dummy onboard, as technicians on the ground remotely guided the jetpack, the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority confirmed the device had been awarded an experimental flight permit for development test flying, Britain's Daily Telegraphs reported Friday.

That means a person can pilot the device, and a piloted flight has already taken place inside a large building.

"It's a mixture of scary and just awesome," James Boker, who was the pilot for the indoor test, said.

"Flying it remotely with just a dummy means you can see the aircraft and so you can see everything that happens, but when you're actually in it, it's all behind you and you just get lifted off the ground," he said. "It's just awesome."

There was still a "little bit more work to do" before the jetpack could be offered to the public, he said, but there had been "tremendous interest" from around the world.

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