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
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]