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Our Jetpack Dreams Are (Still) Just Out Of Reach

We were promised jetpacks. They never came. And when a jetpack finally does go on sale, you probably won’t be able to afford it.

Our Jetpack Dreams Are (Still) Just Out Of Reach

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Jepacks have always been a dream just out of reach. One New Zealand company, Martin Aircraft, has been promising to change that. In 2013, Co.Exist wrote an article about the company headlined “Your first personal jetpack could actually go on sale next year,” based on the company’s timeline.

Given that it’s now 2015, we got to wondering where our jetpacks are.

It turns out it’s still not quite there yet (just like in 2010, when the company also was promising the technology would be ready in a year or two). Now, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, first deliveries are scheduled for late 2016 (we’ll believe it when we see it). Looks like more waiting to lift off.

When it does go on sale, the basic version–which will ride for about 30 minutes and cover a 20-mile distance–the jetpack still won’t be for your average sci-fi fan. With a basic version costing an estimated $200,000, the company envisions that militaries and emergency responder types will be the first adopters. Even still, the company has plenty of hurdles to navigate, including unclear regulations and licensing requirements.

That’s not to say Martin Aircraft hasn’t been busy. It is partnering with the U.S. company Avwatch to develop products for the U.S. defense and homeland security departments. And it spent time in 2014 filing for an IPO on the Australian Stock Exchange, securing $21 million worth of shares from the Chinese aerospace group Kuang-Chi Science and raising a total of $27 million. The company is also raising money from Hong Kong-based investors as well.

So while there’s progress in jetpack-land (and, as many true believers note, this isn’t even a real jetpack), you may as well live vicariously through “Jetman” Yves Rossy, who custom-built his own jetpack and now films his incredible journeys for us all to enjoy. You can see his most recent adventure, a flight over Dubai, below:

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About the author

Jessica Leber is a staff editor and writer for Fast Company's Co.Exist. Previously, she was a business reporter for MIT’s Technology Review and an environmental reporter at ClimateWire.

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