It’s 2010 — Finally My Jet Pack is Here!

I’m really not sure how much I’m looking forward to this – I’m imagining having to constantly look up to avoid falling debris from midair collisions while walking the streets of Manhattan… From Business Week/GizMag:

It’s been a long time coming. While Arthur C. Clarke’s satellites have taken to space, and James Bond’s futuristic mobile technology has become common place, still the dream of sustained personal flight has eluded us. But the future is here! Finally we can all take flight as Martin Aircraft in New Zealand releases the first commercially-available jet pack!

Tell what I really want to know: how can I get my hands on one?

After nine prototypes Martin Aircraft have an accurate expectation for how much a jetpack will cost, and suggest that at $86,000 it is pitched at the level of a high-end car. As sales and production volume increase they expect this to drop to the price of a mid-range car. A 10% deposit buys you a production slot for 12 months hence; progress payments are made during manufacture with final payment due on delivery. Details and a deposit contract are available from their Martin Aircraft’s website.

And when will I be able drive it to work?

Again it’s a waiting game as currently air traffic control technology is not yet advanced enough to cope with jetpacks, but the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is developing “highways in the sky” technology – 3D highways based on GPS tracks. Initial tests have been positive but the technology is unlikely to be implemented for another 10 years yet so for the meantime initial use will remain recreational as with jet-skis, snowmobiles and ultralights. Until then we’ll keep waiting and watching the sky…

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