Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 13:27 GMT, Wednesday, 30 July 2008 14:27 UK
Human flying invention unveiled
Harrison Martin takes a jet pack for a test flight
The safety features include an emergency parachute and an impact-absorbing undercarriage built to soften a rough landing

Humans avoiding traffic by gliding through the air? Pigs might fly.

Although, we might start seeing our pink four-legged friends taking to the sky soon, thanks to a new invention which has been unveiled in the US.

The Martin jet pack can, in theory, fly an average-sized pilot about 30 miles in 30 minutes on a full 5-gallon (19-litre) tank of petrol.

The piano-sized contraption costs $100,000 (50,517) and was unveiled at AirVenture, the annual aviation convention of experimental aircraft at Oshkosh in Wisconsin.

People will look back on this as a moment in history
Glenn Martin, inventor

Inventor Glenn Martin showed off the device by allowing his 16-year-old son, Harrison, to try it out.

Before a crowd of spectators he eased about three feet off the ground and hovered for about 45 seconds.

"That went better than expected," Mr Martin said.

"People will look back on this as a moment in history."

However, regulations in the US limit the use of things like this.

Congested areas

The jet pack has been designed to conform to the Federal Aviation Administration's definition of an ultralight vehicle, which weighs less than 254 pounds (115 kilograms) and carries only one passenger.

Although, apparatus like this can be operated by a pilot without a licence, they can't be used over congested areas.

The FAA say devices can only be used "exclusively for sport or recreational purpose".

The safety features include an emergency parachute and an impact-absorbing undercarriage built to soften a rough landing.

This is not the only light-weight flying gadget on the market with two other companies trying to sell jet packs.

Tecnologia Aeroespacial Mexicana in Cuernavaca, Mexico produces a rocket belt which uses hydrogen peroxide to power 20-second flights, according to their website.

Jet Pack International, based in Denver, produces a jet pack that runs on jet fuel. An average-sized pilot could travel about nine minutes and 11 miles (18 kilometres) on the 5-gallon tank, the company said.

SEE ALSO
Nintendo tries to ban DS piracy
Wednesday, 30 July 2008, 10:34 GMT |  Technology
Virgin reveal space mothership
Tuesday, 29 July 2008, 08:48 GMT |  Technology
Retro gamers turn back the clock
Monday, 21 July 2008, 06:26 GMT |  Technology
Sony defends PS3 games console
Wednesday, 16 July 2008, 11:33 GMT |  Technology

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


BBC navigation

BBC © 2013 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific