Jetpack gets flying permit, to appear in shops by 2015 -

A Kiwi company has said that it will have a viable working jet pack in the shops in two years.

Jetpacks have been the fodder of sci-fi comics for decades, but had been a symbol of a future which never arrives – a bit like Duke Nukem Forever.

But Duke Nukem Forever eventually did arrive, and so too will the jetpack - which will hopefully be less of a disappointment.

New Zealand-based company Martin Aircraft became certified to take what it calls "the world's first practical jetpack" out for a series of manned test flights. These are limited to testing over uninhabited lands and the pilot must not fly higher than 20ft above ground or 25ft above water, the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority said.

Glenn Martin, the inventor, had been working on the jetpack in his Christchurch, New Zealand garage over 30 years ago, inspired by TV shows like Thunderbirds.

Chief exec at Martin Aircraft, Peter Coker, thinks the jetpack will be available for first responders, such as firefighters, by 2014, and to the general public by 2015.

According to AFP, it won't come cheap - with early models expected to sell for a minimum of $150,000. Included in the price will be a parachute in case of disaster.

if it works the company will start selling a consumer version of the jetpack in 2015. They will not be cheap. When the first production models come off the line they will start at $150,000..