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Beat the rush hour: Get your personal Jet-pack

By Aditi Chengappa     Feb 26, 2010 in Technology
Ever wished you could beam yourself out of rush hour traffic? Well this comes close, the first commercial jet-packs are now in the market.
You've seen it in movies, even the King of Pop used one in his concert. It's time for that childhood fantasy to turn into reality, and Martin Aircraft Company is granting your wish, announcing the first commercial Jet-packs for £50,000.
What a deliciously expensive way to beat rush hour traffic, after signing a multi-million pound deal with an international aircraft company this week, the Christchurch-New Zealand based company shall produce 500 packs allowing first-person propulsion through the skies.
The futuristic invention boasts of 200 horsepower dual-propeller packs and can travel at 60mph for upto 30 miles on a full tank of fuel.They have reached heights of 7,800ft in tests.
Though you would think they would keep the suffering environment in mind, the jet-pack is not environment friendly, burning 10 gallons of fuel per hour- five times as much as the average car.
Kiwi inventor, Glenn Martin, unveiled his 5ft by 5.5ft jet-pack for the first time in July last year. Traditionally, jet-packs are powered by jets of escaping gases, this new device uses a gas engine with two ducted fans to provide lift. Throttle and yaw are controlled by one hand, pitch and roll by the other.
"Martin Aircraft Company chief executive Richard Lauder claimed that the pack could be perfect for the emergency services, private users and even the military"." This could be life-saving stuff. For us this is an excellent commercial step," he adds."
How safe is it? The jet-pack does have safety features to combat dangers of flying through the air, both an internal roll cage to protect the pilot from side impact and a ballistic parachute system that works at low altitudes.
Jet-packs could be one of the future modes of transport, but there are many obstacles to overcome given that firstly they are not environment friendly, it costs £50,000 and moreover where's the air traffic control at that height?
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