Must have one of these

A very clever South Island inventor is working on a device to float us up, up and away.

I absolutely must have one of these as it would knock 30 minutes each way off my daily work commute. Can you imagine taking off in your back yard, zooming up and over the traffic jams and landing serenely at work?

Not to mention the previously inaccessible beaches and fishing spots that would be yours for the taking at the weekend.

The KeA-PAC is the brainchild of Glenn Martin, also the inventor of the Martin Jetpack.  Quote

“Mr Martin said the new aircraft was the one he dreamed of decades ago as a student at the University of Otago.  ”You can roll it out, you strap into this thing and you hit the button and fly away.”

Although Mr Martin is not providing pictures – for patent reasons – he says the machine uses fans, takes off vertically, has wings, will glide and has computers to do the ”hard thinking”.

And like the Martin Jetpack, ”you’re still out in the open, you’re still standing up vertically, you’ve still got some giant fans.”  End of quote

Glenn Martin developed the original Martin Jetpack and the company Martin Jetpack went into a joint venture with Chinese group Kuang-Chi Science and listed on the ASX in 2015. The Chinese have taken over the development of this original prototype, including fundraising in China and are working toward a commercial version, Martin Jetpack Series 2.

Glenn Martin left Martin Jetpack in 2015 after disagreements with management over the company’s direction and since then has been working on the KeA-PAC.  He has maintained control of the direction of the new development by restricting funding to family and friends but is looking to open the project up to ‘a few’ investors.  After three year’s work, he estimates the project is about a year away from completion. Quote

Mr Martin hopes to launch the KeA-PAC at the Oshkosh Airshow, in the United States in 2020, where the Martin Jetpack had its first public outing in 2008. End of quote.

The biggest difference between his original and this one are: Quote

[…] that it will fly three times faster, it’ll go three times higher, it’s going to be about half the price and we’re using an off-the-shelf electric motor.”

The KeA-PAC also has a parachute system that works above an altitude of about 5m and a ”giant pogo stick” type undercarriage was being developed for lower altitudes.

”So the idea is if anything fails at any time you should be fine.”  One of the advantages of using an electric motor was that they did not tend to ”catastrophically fail”, he said.  ”They tend to get hot and slowly lose power.” End of quote.

It must be a bit weird to be competing against his original design but I wish him luck with his new venture.

We clearly can’t wait on the Auckland City Council, or the government, to get us of Auckland’s traffic jams so this might be just the ticket.

Otago Daily Times


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