In a hall on the Paris Air Show ground, a man strapped into a harness and wearing goggles appears onscreen flying over the roofs of the French capital in what looks like a video game. Fascinating visitors to this week's show, it is in fact a simulator of a jetpack made by New Zealand-based Martin Aircraft and displayed for the first time to the public. The company, in which Hong Kong-based technology group Kuang-Chi Science Ltd owns 32 per cent, is aiming what it dubs "the world's first practical jetpack" at fire services, police and those involved in recovery efforts after natural disasters. "It consumes one litre of fuel per minute, the same as a helicopter, but it can land in small spaces, hover very close to things, and its servicing is cheaper," Martin Aircraft chief executive officer Peter Coker said. The simulator at the air show re-creates the feel of vertical takeoff and landing with the 200kg device, which can fly a maximum of 74km/h up to altitudes of 1,000 metres, has a range of between 30km and 50km and comes equipped with a parachute. Martin Aircraft expects to start deliveries of the jetpacks to fire, police and search-and-rescue services in the second half of next year. The company is also targeting the commercial market. The jetpacks, which can be flown remotely, could also be used for agriculture and recreational purposes, Coker said. Martin Aircraft, via a joint venture with Kuang-Chi, signed a deal at the air show with Chinese leisure and tourism company Beijing Flying Man Science & Technology Ltd for a potential order of 100 manned jetpacks, 50 unmanned, 25 static models and 25 simulators. It also signed an agreement with a unit of China's AVIC International for future deliveries, though no details were given. Conceived and developed by Glenn Martin in 1981, the jetpacks are being tested in Christchurch, New Zealand, and could be available for personal use at the end of 2017, with a target price of US$200,000, Coker said.