As many as 5000 spectators are expected at the first public flight demonstration of the P12 Martin Jetpack in China tomorrow.

Martin Aircraft Company chief executive Peter Coker said the P12 - flown by the firm's director of flight operations, Mike Read, a former Australian Air Force pilot - would fly up to 8m above the OCT Waterpark, in the Southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, for about five minutes.

Martin Aircraft jetpack makes maiden flight
Video: Martin Jetpack: 'Quantum leap' over previous model
Martin Aircraft posts full-year loss

The aircraft is being restricted to 8m above water and 2m over land during manned flights as a ballistic parachute is yet to be fitted.


"That's part of our development plan for next year," Coker said.

He said 8m was a good height for a public demonstration because the aircraft became difficult to see at higher altitudes.

"Higher than that people just see it as a bit of a dot."

The jetpack made a manned practice flight in Canterbury last month, footage of which was screened on One News.

Coker said the Christchurch-based company saw a global market for the jetpack, including the potential for sales in China.

A Chinese media contingent is expected at tomorrow's demonstration, which has been organised by the firm's major shareholder, Hong Kong-listed KuangChi Science.

Coker said another public jetpack demonstration flight would take place at the Warbirds Over Wanaka airshow in March.

The jetpack can be flown by a pilot or remote control and potential uses include search and rescue, military, recreational, and commercial applications.


It can fly for 30 minutes, at up to 74km/h to an altitude of 1000m.

Coker said the company, which floated on the Australian stock exchange this year, remained on track to make the first commercial deliveries of the its First Responder jetpack in the second half of 2016.

We've got a number of people that we're negotiating with.

A personal jetpack, for recreational use, will be available by 2017, with the firm targeting a price of less than US$150,000 for that version, according to its website.

The First Responder version will cost around US$200,000, plus customisation expenses.

Last month the company signed a memorandum of understanding with Dubai Civil Defence for the intended future delivery of manned and unmanned jetpacks, simulators, spare parts, support services and pilot and engineer training for civil defence and fire service personnel.

It covers an initial tranche of up to 20 jetpacks and two simulators.

Coker said Dubai Civil Defence was targeting the jetpack for use around "initial reactions and eventually rescue environments as well".

Martin Aircraft shares listed on the ASX at A40c in February and traded at a record high of A$3.15 on March 3 but were trading at A90c yesterday afternoon.

In June, founder Glenn Martin resigned suddenly as a director of the firm. Martin said at the time that a difference in opinion over the company's path to commercialisation led to his departure from the board.

Martin jetpack

• Will be able to fly for 30 minutes, at up to 74km/h, to an altitude of 1000m.
• First commercial deliveries anticipated next year.
• Personal jetpack, for recreational use, expected to become available in 2017, with a price tag of less than US$150,000.