Martin Jetpack Test Pilot Picked By eBay Bid
Results on eBay suggest that someone has, for $35,101, purchased the chance to become a temporary test pilot for the Martin Aircraft Company, developer of the Martin Jetpack. Martin partnered with Total Experience, which sells adventure packages, to market the chance to become the first person outside the aircraft's development program to fly the Jetpack. The winner is promised "Jetpack test pilot training" as well as at least six flight sessions over the course of three days. The experience was put up for auction on eBay and two bids, plus that of the winner, were registered. Martin answered queries about the adventure, stating that the six flight sessions would span about two hours each, "which would normally amount to 100 flights or more." The flight program may include limitations set by the aircraft's then-current flight test envelope. Presently, the aircraft is restricted to 2 meters in altitude, 5 knots left, right and backward, and 10 knots forward. "Flights can be up to 5 minutes," according to the company, "though we may go to 10 in an outdoor setting." Martin even had an answer to "why do we have to pay to be a test pilot?"
The experience, says the company, "is an opportunity for someone who may value taking their place in aviation history," and that perceived honor (along with the experience) is what the winner is paying for. The flights, which can be shared by as many as three people, will take flight in Christchurch New Zealand at a time to be determined by the winner in consultation with the company. The winning bidder's payment will not, according to Martin, go toward the purchase of a Martin Jetpack.