Martin Jetpack hits the 5,000 feet milestone, could come to market within 18 months (video)

OK, so the Martin Jetpack may not have gone into commercial production quite as soon as we'd anticipated, but there's still hope on the horizon. Over the weekend, Glenn Martin's flying machine successfully climbed some 5,000 feet above sea level, marking a new milestone in the 30-year, $12 million project. Remotely controlled by a tailing helicopter, the 250-pound craft used its two "superfans" to power itself skyward at about 800 feet per second minute, before safely parachuting back to Earth from a height of about 3,000 feet. As with its last test run, however, the Martin Jetpack was equipped not with a human being, but with a crash dummy. It may have been for the best, though, considering that the machine sustained some damage upon concluding the ten-minute flight. Nevertheless, Martin seems confident that yesterday's test "brings the future another step closer," and is hoping to deliver his brainchild to customers within the next 18 months -- plenty of time for us to hawk enough family heirlooms to afford that $86,000 price tag. Soar past the break for a video of the jetpack's big launch, or check out the source link for a more extensive interview with Martin and some background footage of his invention.

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]