Segway NZ congratulates Glen Martin and his team today, as the Martin Jetpack soared to 5,000ft for the first time. TVNZ’s ‘Sunday’ program captured the event for broadcast this evening (TV One, 7:30pm or watch here), and the official media release is here. Set against the background of Canterbury’s towering Southern Alps, the Jetpack lifted off from a farmer’s paddock to climb at 800 feet per minute into the sky. Previously, the Jetpack was best known for flying around inside an abandoned coolstore or , and the maximum height attained had been 150 feet. However, it had always been designed to fly to at least 4,000 feet – a feat now easily attained.
The Martin Jetpack was named one of TIME magazine’s Top 50 inventions of the year (in 2010), and this test flight brings a commercial release a key step closer. Also successfully tested today was the ballistic parachute to lower the Jetpack safely to the ground in the event of engine failure.
Philip Bendall, Segway NZ’s managing director was fortunate to be one of the first in the world to fly the Jetpack in 2009. More recently, Segway NZ has provided Martin Aircraft with a Segway Personal Transporter (PT) for promotional and flight training purposes (the gyroscopic control principles underpinning the Segway PT are the same as the ‘fly-by-wire’ controls of the Jetpack, and this makes learning to ride the PT an ideal introductory step for new pilots).