The first commercial models of the jetpacks Martin invented are being released by Martin Aircraft Co., the company he left in June last year, just days after it went public in Australia.
Martin disagrees with the commercial model the company has adopted. Contrary to Martin’s dream of personal jetpacks for recreational use, the first Martin jetpacks will be initially sold to first responders (firefighters and rescue services) and then commercial operators. The company has no plans at this stage to make the packs available to individuals.
“All us guys know what a jetpack's for," Martin told the New Zealand Herald. “With a jetpack, you save the world and you get the girl. Right?”
Martin Aircraft's CEO, Peter Coker, told the Herald says he believes the company's plan is the best way to commercialise Martin's invention and once all the supply chains are in place, the company could then turn to building a personal jetpack.
"We are now an aviation company," Coker told the Herald. "Before, it was very much the kiwi dream. But you have to take that commercial path."
Okay, so that's the news. Now, allow me to editorise for a minute.
I know it's hard when someone buys your thing and then does something with it that you hadn't planned. But having people use the thing you invented to save lives is about a good as it gets for inventors, right? Saving lives IS saving the world in a small but tangible way.
Sure, you wanted a jetpack to have fun with, and there are lots of people (some of them girls!) with lots of money who want one too. But you know where this will lead? The jetpack won't become some cool, utilitarian mode of transport. It will be a flying jetski – the most annoying thing in the world for everyone except the person on it.
You shouldn't feel bad about your jetpacks being used to save people from burning buildings, you should feel fucking great about it. Seriously. You'd be a hero. My hero.
P.S. If you've been misquoted or taken out of context, I take it all back.
We talked to Martin last year about how a man in New Zealand did what multinational aviation companies have been unable to do.
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