Martin Jetpacks Landing On Trade Me
Most of the assets of the now-defunct Martin Aircraft Company were snapped up in an international tender that closed last week, but two of the protype Martin Jetpack aircraft are about to land on Trade Me – where they’ll start with a $1 reserve.
“We’re getting calls and emails from people all over the world who are interested in the Martin Jetpack story and in the sale of the equipment,” says Skylarc Asset Realisation’s Sam Brown.
“All I can say is that we’ve sold the tender package with jetpacks, unmanned drone test aircraft, spare engines, training simulators, every imaginable spare part, computer servers, branding and technical documentation. It will soon be heading off to the buyer. And no, I can’t say where it’s going or what price it went for,” Sam says.
Two prototype Martin Jetpacks and other remaining assets of the pioneering Christchurch aviation company will go live on Trade Me in the next few days – where each item will start with a $1 reserve.
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to buy a Martin Jetpack. You won’t be flying anywhere with it, but it will be a great talking point,” Sam says.
“In the last few weeks I’ve spoken to plenty of aviation buff and collectors who are eying up this opportunity. Some of them have likened this to having the opportunity to buy a John Britten motorcycle. One of his motorbikes is on permanent display in Te Papa.”
When the last of the Martin Jetpack Trade Me auctions ends on Tuesday 23 November, the door will close on the Martin Aircraft Company and a unique slice of New Zealand aviation history. Aviation enthusiasts are likely to remain on alert, to see whether Martin Jetpacks re-emerge in some form under the new ownership.
David Ruscoe and Russell Moore of Grant Thornton New Zealand were appointed as Liquidators of Christchurch-based Martin Aircraft Company Limited in March, following the wind up of the company in 2019. They appointed Sam’s company to manage the sale of the remaining assets on their behalf.
About the Martin Jetpack
· The Martin Jetpack was the brainchild of Christchurch man Glenn Martin, who started development in his garage in the 1980s.
· It’s a single person aircraft - rather than a jetpack - powered by a petrol engine with two ducted fans providing lift-off. The pilot is strapped into a standing frame and uses hand controls to pilot the craft.
· The vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft has held New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority and United States FAA approval for manned test flights. It was classified by the FAA as an experimental ultralight plane.
· A prototype was unveiled at the Experimental Aircraft Association’s annual AirVenture in Oshkosh, United States in 2008.
· The Martin Jetpack was designed to be easy to fly, so it could be used by first responders and could also carry a payload. It was able to fly for almost half an hour.
· It features a carbon fibre airframe and landing gear, aluminium quad rotor, and titanium and Inconel exhausts.
· Martin Aircraft Company Limited closed its doors in 2019.
· David Ruscoe and Russell Moore of Grant Thornton New Zealand were appointed as Liquidators in March 2021 and have tasked Skylarc with selling the remaining assets.
Video footage showing development of the Martin Jetpack is at https://youtu.be/NZ9Nw9T85wA
Auction details are at https://www.skylarc.co.nz/auctions/mac