Martin Aircraft set to launch on NZX

Last updated 15:19 08/08/2014

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Christchurch-based Martin Aircraft Company appears to be progressing towards a listing on the Australian and New Zealand stock exchanges.

Chief executive Peter Coker said the listing decision had not been formally made yet, but the company was looking to raise $5 million in pre-initial public offering capital.

"Pre-IPO capital raising will allow us to move to pre-production," he said.

The company hopes to get the world's first commercial jetpack into pre-production this year.

Company founder and director Glenn Martin, a New Zealand biochemist, was a university student when he began designing his dream jetpack in 1981.

Today, the 12th prototype Martin Jetpack has a V4, 200-horsepower engine that drives two ducted fans. It has been flown to more than 3000 feet and can travel at up to 74kmh.

Coker was recruited last year to lead the commercialisation phase. He is a former Lockheed Martin salesman and consultant on military transport policy.

Recreational jetpacks will cost about US$150,000 ($179,500).

An unmanned courier model is expected to sell for about US$200,000. Military models could fetch up to US$250,000.

About $20 million has been invested in developing the technology to date.

Audited accounts show the company has operated at a loss of about $1.5m a year for the past five years.

The company said this year that when production started, the company's aspiration was to ramp up output over three years and achieve an annual turnover in excess of $75m by the third year of commercial operations.

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