Exclusive first pictures: Kiwi jetpack invention lifts off for maiden flight

The latest Martin Jetpack has made its first maiden manned flight, tearing across a north Canterbury irrigation pond with staff members watching on. 

The Christchurch-based company carried out the flight over an irrigation pond in North Canterbury. Source: 1 NEWS

The Christchurch-based company carried out the test flight this week, limiting the jetpack to a height of eight metres because it didn't have a parachute fitted.

Former Australian Air Force pilot Michael Read became the first man to properly fly the Martin Jetpack.

"Obviously the sensation of flying a jetpack is something that very few people on earth have been lucky enough to experience... the best I could say is its a very pleasurable experience," Mr Read said. 

Martin Jetpack says it's aiming to sell its flying machine for commercial use to emergency services around the world.

An updated jetpack will be built by the middle of next year and be ready for sale by the end of 2016.

The Martin Jetpack is expected to sell for over $300,000 and will be capable of reaching a height of 1000m, a top speed over 70kmh with a flight time of 30 minutes.