New Zealand’s Martin Aircraft Company has partnered with India’s M2K Group for exclusive marketing, manufacturing and sales of the Martin Jetpack vertical takeoff and landing aircraft in South Asia.
Martin Aircraft CEO Richard Lauder says the agreement covers India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Afghanistan for military, search and rescue and emergency services.
“The company would also sell Jetpacks to the general aviation sector for recreational aviation and other usage within these countries,” he says.
M2K hopes to make $100 million within five years through sales of the jetpack and associated products across the South Asian subcontinent, M2K President Vikash Bhagchandka says. Martin Aircraft officials declined to say how much the Jetpack will cost.
“Our company looks to invest in leading-edge and cost-effective technologies that will drive the future for India’s growth. We believe the Martin Jetpack is one of those technologies and that is why M2K has partnered with Martin Aircraft exclusively across these territories,” he says.
The Martin Jetpack can be flown with or without a pilot, and is able to climb more than 1,000 ft. per min. and cruise at up to 100 km (62 mi.) per hr. The Jetpack’s operating costs will be 90% lower than that of helicopters for urban surveillance and search and rescue work, Lauder says.
An unmanned Jetpack recently completed a high-altitude test flight in New Zealand by reaching 5,000 ft. before safely deploying a ballistic parachute, Lauder says.
Early Jetpack customers are expected to come from the military and emergency/search and rescue service sectors. When future disasters strike, the Jetpack could be used to fly rescuers into areas that helicopters and planes cannot reach, Lauder says.
Bhagchandka says initial customer response has been positive and the successful test flight is expected to spark additional interest.
Lauder says the joint venture will provide a solid base for entry and expansion into critical markets.
Martin Aircraft is aiming for commercial production of the Jetpack within the next 18 months.