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Kiwi Jetpack inventor in Time magazine top 50

Published: 10:34PM Monday November 15, 2010 Source: NZPA/ONE News

The New Zealand-invented jet pack has made this year's Time magazine 50 Best Inventions list, being described as the most anticipated invention of the year.

The chief executive of the Martin Aircraft Company, Richard Lauder, said the concept of a jet pack doesn't need selling because every five-year-old knows what it is.

He said it was fantastic to be recognised in the international community and to be listed alongside ipads and other well known inventions.

But it doesn't surprise him, saying the world's been waiting for a jet pack for 80 years.

The Martin Jetpack has been 30 years in the making and while it is still in the final stages of research and development, it has been successfully tested at low altitudes.

The machine has a 200 horsepower, two stroke engine and it is estimated it will be able to fly at 2400 metres with a range of 50km.

Time said although it looked like a couple of leaf blowers welded together, it was positioning itself as the world's first "practical" jetpack.

The company is looking at a public offering on the stock market to raise development funds next year, and if that's successful the jet pack should be production-ready in late 2012.

Research, Science and Technology Minister Wayne Mapp said the Martin Jetpack had captured people's imagination and was helping put New Zealand innovation in the international spotlight.

"Glenn's breakthrough approach to the use of ultra-high efficient fans and vector control means that he has solved a problem that has beaten everyone else.

"There is no doubt that there will be a wide range of practical applications for the technology he has developed," Mapp said.

Martin, who has been focusing on fine-tuning its safety aspects, is set to run field tests on it next year.