Martin Aircraft Company Limited, a New Zealand-based firm, was renowned for its decades-long commitment to developing the Martin Jetpack. This revolutionary personal vertical take-off and landing aircraft, powered by a twin ducted fan, was the brainchild of Glenn Martin in the early 1980s. Despite its significant contributions to the industry and media recognition both domestically and abroad, the company was put into liquidation on March 23, 2021, with David Ruscoe and Russell Moore of Grant Thornton stepping in as the Liquidators.

The Challenge

Operations at Martin Jetpack ground to a halt in 2020, leading to the closure of its main production facility in Christchurch. Critical assets for future technology development, including the primary server and numerous desktop and laptop PCs, alongside seven fully assembled Martin Jetpack aircraft and extensive part inventories for the latest model, were safely stored. The company also maintained a container in Northern Christchurch housing an early Jetpack prototype and a range of testing equipment and spare parts.


Recognizing the $125 million investment into the development of the Jetpack, Skylarc identified the technology’s sales potential rather than the physical assets. However, the condition of the IT assets remained uncertain, and support contracts with Martin Jetpacks I.T. provider had long since expired. Moreover, most Jetpacks had been disassembled for transport and required reassembly prior to sale, and the paperwork associated with the Jetpacks was dispersed among hundreds of boxes.

The Process

The process involved coordinated efforts to recover and reassemble Jetpacks and their associated technology from various sites throughout Christchurch. Collaborations with former staff and IT providers enabled the reinstatement of the main servers and the restoration of the IT infrastructure. An international tender site was created to facilitate the sale of the main business assets, including the latest Jetpack models, design information, parts, and intellectual property. Additionally, historical Jetpack models, parts, and other small assets were prepared for an online auction.

Link to the closed tender site

Martin Aviation Company Liquidation Tender


To generate attention for the auction and the tender, an international marketing campaign was launched, featuring advertisements in Heliops Magazine, New Zealand Engineering News, New Zealand Aviation News, and on Facebook. A public relations firm based in Christchurch, Convergence Communications, was utilised for a media release. This campaign gained significant traction, with appearances on TV1’s “Seven Sharp” program, TV3’s “The AM Show,” National Radio, and numerous newspapers. A direct marketing effort targeted the New Zealand aviation industry and international players in the burgeoning e-vtol market.


The results were overwhelmingly positive. All intellectual property, computer servers, research materials, and the latest model Jetpacks were acquired by a single international organisation with plans to continue technology development. The online auction was a success, with Jetpacks being displayed in various museums, including MOTAT in Auckland and the Christchurch Museum. Individual Jetpacks sold for more than $150,000, far exceeding the liquidator’s expectations.