Dubai Airshow

$250K jetpack for police sees interest from Dubai

Martin Aircraft

A jetpack designed as a first response unit for police, fire and ambulance emergency services is set to go on sale, with initial deliveries due by the end of next year.

The aircraft, said to be the first "practical jetpack" of its kind, is built by New Zealand-based firm Martin Aircraft and will have a target price of between $200,000 and $250,000, its chief executive Peter Coker told CNBC.

The group is in talks with the U.S. and China, and also announced a "memorandum of understanding" with the Dubai Civil Defense department at the Dubai Airshow Monday. The latter was for an order of 20 jetpacks and two simulators, as well as servicing, support and training assistance.

Jetpacks ready for the skies

Coker said he hopes to have delivered 45 jetpacks by the summer of 2017, with packs being operational both manned or unmanned, like a drone.

"Our first target customers are the first responders, which is fire, police, ambulance, border security and natural disaster recovery. So we see how it could be used in any of those areas. The reason being is this is a tactical aircraft. It can fly 74 kilometers per hour, can fly 3,000 feet and has around about a 30-45 minute endurance," Coker told CNBC at the sidelines of the Dubai Airshow.

After the emergency response, Coker said the pack is also marketed towards the commercial sector including the oil, gas and mining industry as well as farming and agriculture. The jetpack is also suitable for personal use and he hopes to see it used in flying schools.

To infinity and beyond! Has the jetpack's time come?

The Martin jetpack is made out of carbon fiber and comes equipped with a ballistic parachute if the aircraft fails, which is capable of bringing the speed of the pack down below 10 meters per second, making any possible crashes "survivable."

"Most of the smaller drone use you see can carry up to 8 kilograms, we can carry up to 120 kilograms. So therefore, what you have is the capability of doing different missions or capabilities that those small drones can't do, especially in industries like mining," he said.

Rival jetpack maker JetPack Aviation hit headlines this week, after a video showed the pack in action flying in New York. JetPack Aviation's device, the JB-9 can fly more than 100 miles per hour (160 kilometers per hour), can soar above 10,000 feet, and can last 10 minutes, according to reports. Coker told CNBC that the rival product is more geared towards personal use.