This particular test was unmanned (that’s Jetson, a dummy/counterweight, that you see up there), though we’ve already seen the jetpack take a real pilot upwards at Oshkosh back in 2008. But that was a short and highly controlled hover. To be honest, that flight was pretty conservative, though the idea at the time was only to prove the concept publicly. The flight in the video below, controlled by a pilot on the ground, is the real deal, showing that the jetpack can sustain flight over a period of minutes. With this success, surely longer-duration flights are in the offing.
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The jetpack dream is moving forward--or perhaps upward--once again. Martin Aircraft, makers of the Martin Jetpack (a PopSci Best of What’s New winner in 2008), have set a new flight duration record with their personal flight device, putting it in the air for seven solid minutes during a recent outdoor test.
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