Emergency services personnel in Dubai are known to think outside the box when it comes to transporting first responders to incidents, as evidenced by the Corvette used by their civil defense organization. Now they have placed an order for 20 “jetpacks” made by Martin Aircraft, propelled not by jet engines, but by ducted fans.
From the BBC:
A deal between Dubai’s civil defense force and New Zealand-based Martin Aircraft suggests that the technology is about to move mainstream.
For decades, jetpack fans have predicted a future when we would be using personal power-packs – like James Bond in the 1965 film Thunderball.
Now, Dubai has announced an initial order for up to 20 Martin jetpacks, plus simulators and a training package, for delivery next year.
No financial details were disclosed at the Dubai Airshow, other than it is a multi-million-dollar contract. Each jetpack has a catalogue price of $250,000 (£165,000).
But these will not be used as the latest must-have for the wealthy and foolish. Dubai wants them for more serious reasons.
Lt Col Ali Hassan Almutawa, director of the Dubai Civil Defence Operations Department, said the packs would be used for reconnaissance and rescue.
“We see them performing a first-responder role,” he says, adding that the jetpacks would be particularly useful in the fire department during emergencies in Dubai’s skyscrapers.
“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 says.