Chinese deal for Martin Aircraft jetpacks

Christchurch-based Martin Aircraft [ASX:MJP] has signed a deal in China for 100 of its flagship jetpack products.

The company’s Hong Kong-based joint venture KuangChi Martin Jetpack has signed three agreements for a 100 manned jetpacks and 20 simulators, subject to agreeing procurement contracts by June, which will include the final purchase price.
Yesterday, the company held the first public flight demonstration of the P12 jetpack at the OTC Waterpark in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, in front of a crowd of about 2400.

China is one of the fastest growing markets for aviation and recent civil aviation developments mean previously off-limits airspace is being opened up for civilian operations.

The jetpack can be flown by a pilot or via remote control and its potential use includes search and rescue, military, recreational, and commercial applications.

It can to fly for 30 minutes at a speed of up to 74 kilometres an hour at an altitude of 1000 metres, compared to its nearest competitor with only 30 seconds of flight.

Martin Jetpack, which launched on the ASX in February at A60c and reported a 2015 annual loss of $5.2 million in August, is moving towards full commercialisation.

Last month it signed a memorandum of understanding with Dubai Civil Defence for an initial tranche of up to 20 jetpacks and two simulators. The agreement covers intended future delivery of manned and unmanned jetpacks, simulators, spare parts, support services and pilot and engineer training.

A Chinese entrepreneurial investor, Hong Kong exchange-listed KuangChi Science, bought most of the shares offered in the IPO – 52.5 million – for $A21 million.

KuangChi Science and Martin Aircraft own 51% and 49% respectively of the Hong Kong listed joint venture, after each paying $2 million in share capital. 

The business was founded in 1998 by Glenn Martin – who quit abruptly last June – after tinkering with jetpacks for years in his Dunedin garage.

Its stock price is at A97c this morning.

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