From driverless cars to jetpacks: meet the tech innovators reshaping transit

A look at the tinkerers, designers and big thinkers pushing the boundaries of transportation

New Zealand-based Martin Aircraft Company’s flagship product is an unconventional flying machine: a jetpack that might seem like a prop from a sci-fi movie, were it not for the fact that it’s well on the road to commercialization.

In October, New Zealand’s civil aviation authority cleared the company’s Prototype 12 model jetpack for manned flights. The fan-propelled jetpack, when shown in June at the Paris Air Show, could soar almost 1,000 meters and fly up to half an hour. The company’s jetpacks are expected to become commercially available sometime in the second half of 2016.

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Martin Aircraft plans to launch a jetpack in 2016

As part of our series on the future of transportation, we’re looking vehicles that might change the way you travel. Martin Aircraft is developing a fan-propelled jetpack, which it says will be able to fly for up to half an hour and soar almost 1,000 meters. The jetpacks are expected to become commercially available in the second half of 2016. Martin provided the Guardian with this product rendering.

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XTI designs business jets to take off and land vertically

As part of our series on the future of transportation, we’re looking at a few vehicles that might change the way you travel. XTI Aircraft, has developed a concept for a six-seat business jet that flies like a normal passenger jet, but with a twist – it also takes off and lands vertically. The TriFan 600 jet uses three ducted fans for the vertical liftoff. Seconds after takeoff, two wing fans rotate forward to shift to horizontal flight. A fan mounted to the fuselage closes. When it comes time to land, the process plays out in reverse. XTI provided the Guardian with this product rendering.

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