If ever your thought that the government lacked imagination in its spending, here is proof that you are wrong:
A Christchurch firm's efforts to develop a personal flying machine
received a boost of nearly $1 million from the Foundation for Research,
Science and Technology.
Making a total of about $1.5m to date.
Venture capitalist Jenny Morel's No 8 Ventures company had also
invested significantly in the project in recent years, an indication of
its commercial potential.
But presumably not enough commercial potential to actually get No 8 Ventures to front up with the million.
In approving the application, the foundation noted several
firm orders had been received for the jetpack, and expressions of
interest for many more following its US debut.
This is an excellent start, but one wonders why with all the publicity in the US, it was not possible to obtain funding. Do the venture capitalists know something that FRST doesn't? Or is FRST so brilliant that they can see potential where legions of VCs can't?
Looking at the video, it looks more than $1m away from completion to me. It is too large, and far too noisy. It seems to need two people walking along holding it to keep it safe. Still, if there are orders, it must be good enough.
Good luck to them - let's hope the 25 cents each means we all get a free ride when it is ready. I suppose taxpayers will find out in a few years whether it was all worthwhile.