Jetpack inventor to give free talk in Queenstown

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The inventor of the world’s first jetpack is to give a free public presentation in Queenstown.
 
Christchurch biochemist Glenn Martin – who made international headlines when unveiling his “jetski for the skies” two years ago – is giving a lecture at the Crowne Plaza hotel on November 10 for the Otago branch of the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand. 

Strapped on your back, the jetpack can travel for 30 minutes at 100 kilometres an hour. 

Inspired by cartoon series like The Jetsons, Martin dreamt of flying as a child. 

Studying biochemistry at Otago University, he and mates fantasised about flying home after long nights at the pub.
Martin began secretly working on the project in his garage in 1981. 

In 1998, he founded a company in Christchurch to develop a jetpack that could fly 100 times longer than the Bell Rocket Belt, which went for only 26 seconds. 

He unveiled the Martin Jetpack at the Experimental Aircraft Association’s Airventure in the United States in 2008. 

This year, his Martin Aircraft Company signed a $12 million deal with an international aircraft company to make 500 units generating turnover of $100m within three years. 

The company is also considering a $20m sharemarket listing to fund development. 

Martin planned his invention as a recreational vehicle, but the jetpack is also viewed as a quick way to get aid into disaster-hit areas. 

Personal orders can be placed later this year for about $US100,000.