Defexpo has kicked off in full swing and the venue has companies exhibiting the latest defense equipment. While some companies have brought their top of the line products to be displayed at the expo, one company looks to be sure to draw a huge crowd. New Zealand based Martin Aircraft co. has displayed a full scale static model of their Jetpack at the expo. The Jetpack is aimed for rescue, military, recreational and commercial purposes.
The future of defense seems to be focussed on unmanned air combat to avoid collateral damage through UAVs in the form of drones and remotely controlled missiles etc. The Martin Jetpack can be flown by a pilot or via remote control. It’s ability to take off and land vertically as well as it’s small dimensions makes it suitable for rescue situations. The company states that in a populated country like India, the Martin Jetpack can be the solution for search and rescue situations, as it can respond to emergency situations and can reach ultra-high dense urban environments which is difficult for any other rescue vehicles to reach to.
The Martin Jetpack technology presently consists of a purpose-built 200hp 2-litre gasoline engine driving twin-ducted fans to produce sufficient thrust to lift the aircraft and a pilot (Or equivalent weight) in vertical take-off and landing, and to fly up to speeds of 74 kmph. The torque-neutral design eliminates the need for a tail rotor, and an on-board inertial navigation system along with flight computer stability and control make the aircraft easy to fly.
The jetpack’s application varies from disaster management, search and rescue, police, fire services, surveillance, border patrol, counter terrorism, remote operations, ship to ship transfer, IED detection etc. Apart from it’s military and civil uses it can also be used commercially by the mining industry, oil and gas industry, monitoring high voltage transmission lines and gas pipelines etc. The Jetpack is able to carry heavy payloads of around 120 Kgs, which makes it suitable for commercial use. With an eye on the Indian market, The jetpack uses the MACL lift technology which makes a more stable aircraft, in contrast to a helicopter. The “Fly by wire” assisted flight makes it easy to fly. Martin Aircraft Company had signed a deal with M2K group at last year’s Paris Air Show to launch their Jetpacks in India, and they seem to be grabbing eyeballs at this year’s Defexpo with their full scale static model display as well.