Jetpacks Ordered for Dubai’s Emergency Services
Alexander Neil / 3 years ago
Dubai is a place known for making vast expenditures for its emergency services, most notably the multi-million dollar fleet of supercars fielded by its police. But now there is a new machine set to bring the Dubai emergency services to the sky: the jetpack.
This week a contract was signed between Dubai’s Directorate of Civil Defense and the Martin Aircraft company for the delivery of up to 20 jetpacks and 2 training simulators. According to the director of the Dubai Civil Defence Operations Department, Lt Col Ali Hassan Almutawa, the jetpacks would be used for rescue and reconnaissance by first responders and firefighters.
“Sometimes we have challenges or difficulties to reach the top floors of those buildings. The aircraft can go into confined spaces to size-up the situation. We are going to modify them with thermal imaging cameras,” he told BBC News. He further explained that they intend to test the feasibility of using multiple jetpacks together as part of a “mule train”, allowing a single pilot to tow a chain of unmanned jetpacks. If this is successful it would allow safer rescues to be made when access to the higher levels of a building are dangerous or unusable.
The jetpacks themselves, developed by the Martin Aircraft company, actually use ducted fans to produce lift rather than actual jets. And while this makes them arguably safer to use, due to the lack of jet exhaust, they are more like personal helicopters than a true jetpack. Despite this, the specifications are quite impressive, powered by a V4 engine, the pack can fly at altitudes of up to 1km with a top speed of 75 kph. Not just that, but they are built from carbon fibre and 3D printed components, keeping them lightweight while being able to bear almost 120kg. All of this comes at a premium, the projected price being around £165,000, which would put a sizable gouge in all but the biggest wallets.
So it seems like the jetpack, so long seen as an amazing futuristic device, despite not being available to the public already sees itself placed in the hands of emergency services. Hopefully they will do the double-duty of amazing the people of Dubai, while also keeping them safer.
Image credit to Martin Aircraft