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Peter Coker Appointed CEO Of Martin Aircraft Company
By Shane Nolan

April 19, 2013 - The Martin Aircraft Company announced the appointment Peter Coker as its new Chief Executive Officer today. Company Chair, Jenny Morel, said the company’s ability to attract a renowned international aviation expert was due to the significant technological breakthroughs that the business has achieved with its jetpack. 

“We have made a number of flight technology advancements in recent times, including the testing of new ducted fan technology, the development of a ballistic parachute, an impact-absorbing undercarriage and carbon fiber pilot module.

"We have dramatically increased the overall performance of the Martin Jetpack and now with Mr. Coker’s extensive networks and experience across a broad spectrum of industry sectors on board, the next step is to launch the jetpack to commercial markets around the world.”  

Coker has a distinguished aviation career in New Zealand and overseas. Most recently he was General Manager for Lockheed Martin Global Inc (New Zealand) as well as Head of International Business Development Mission Systems and Training for Asia Pacific.


Prior to joining Lockheed Martin, Coker amassed over 5,500 flying hours across 20 different types of aircraft for the Royal Air Force.  He achieved the rank of Air Commodore and was awarded an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE). Coker has been a long-time ‘observer’ of the Martin Jetpack and says his decision to join the company was spurred by the “spectacular leap forward” in the aircraft’s technological capabilities.   

“I’ve been watching the company for a number of years now. The first footage I saw [of the Martin Jetpack] was interesting to me as an aviator, but it was clearly limited in its commercial application. Recently, the company achieved a number of flight technology breakthroughs with their latest generation Jetpack and that’s when I really sat up and took notice. The team has created an aircraft that is fast, agile, and stable with a huge number of applications across a number of sectors. I’m really excited to be leading this company forward and I have no doubt that, in the near future, the Martin Jetpack will be in use throughout the world." 



Over recent months, the Martin Jetpack has successfully undertaken an extensive unmanned flying program, preceding its next manned flight, which will occur in New Zealand skies later this year. Coker's first task as CEO will be to drive the new flight demonstration and testing program, enabling the company to prove its technology and undertake further manned flight in a range of challenging and diverse conditions.  

The Jetpack is a small VTOL device, with two ducted fans that provide lift. It is powered by a 2.0 liter V4 piston 200-horsepower gasoline (premium) engine. The pilot straps onto it and does not sit. The device is too large to be worn while walking, so it cannot be classed as a backpack device. It does not have a jet turbine or rocket motor; the "Jet" in "Jetpack" refers to the production of two jets of air from its ducted fans. The Martin Jetpack does not meet the Federal Aviation Administration's classification of an ultralight aircraft; it meets weight and fuel restrictions, but cannot meet the power-off stall speed requirement.  

It uses the same gasoline used in cars, is relatively easy to fly, and is cheaper to maintain and operate than other ultralight aircraft. Most helicopters require a tail rotor to counteract the rotor torque; this and the articulated head complicate flying, construction and maintenance enormously. The Jetpack is designed to be torque neutral there is no tail rotor, no collective, no articulating or foot pedals and this simplifies flying dramatically. Pitch and roll are controlled by one hand, yaw and the throttle by the other.

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