Like many famous inventions, the Martin Jetpack has its humble origins in the garage of Glenn Martin who initially conceived and began development of the Martin Jetpack in 1981. Supported by his wife Vanessa, who was the Jetpack’s first test pilot, and their two sons Harrison and William, Glenn worked tirelessly on his dream to develop the initial prototypes of the unique aircraft that you see today.
Commercialisation of the Martin Jetpack began in 1998 with the founding of the GNM Ltd, which became Martin Aircraft Company in 2008. Initially research and development was primarily funded by private investors who had the vision to see the tremendous potential of the product. The company was also fortunate to receive backing from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Callaghan Institute for certain aspects of the development.
The Martin Jetpack was named as one of Time Magazine’s Top 50 inventions for 2010 and this triggered a number of queries from the First Responder community who were interested in using Jetpacks as a rapid response vehicle. It was then that the huge potential of the role the Martin Jetpack could play in saving and improving human lives became apparent.
Over the next few years the company continued to achieve key milestones on the path to market launch and economic reality. In 2013 the Prototype 12 gained authorisation from the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority for manned test flights and this paved the way for the first public manned flight to take place in Shenzhen, China on 6 December 2015.
Also in 2014, Martin Aircraft Company signed a cornerstone investment agreement with KuangChi Science Limited. The company subsequently listed on the Australian Securities Exchange in February 2015.