Around a week ago Emirates Airlines posted a video on youtube which showed People wearing jetpacks flying next to an Airplane, The video got viral with more than I million views in a very short span of time. The video inspired the childhood dream of every adult viewer of the video, it was a comic book stuff where heroes fly off to places and could save people in time, but if today’s reports are correct we could soon see Jetpack flying firefighters in the skyline of Dubai.
Dubai’s civil defense force has ordered 20 partially 3D printed jetpacks from a New Zealand based company called Martin Aircraft Company. Each worth these jet Packs cost a handsome $250,000. These Jetpacks would be used by the Dubai Fire Fighting department to save people in high-rise building. Wait are we still living in the 21 st century? All this sounds science fiction to me.
The deal to buy the 20 jetpacks was done at the Dubai Air Show with Martin Aircraft Company, a company that pioneers the research in JetpacksTechnologies. The actual date for deliveries of these jetpacks was not disclosed, but expectations are that first batch of professional jetpacks would be ready by late 2016, with a range of “personal jetpacks” for the consumer market set to follow in mid-2017.
The Jetpacks to be delivered for the Dubai’s civil defense force would be partially 3D printed, would be powered by two-litre, two-stroke 200hp V4 engine could reach a top flying speed of 45mph and fly up to the height of 3,000ft.
This Partially 3D Printed Jetpack would also contain fire proof carbon fibre parts and can carry 260lbs with a flying time of 45 minutes. These firefighting team hopes to carry medical equipment’s and necessary lifesaving tools on the jetpack and deliver it to people in dire needs.
Martin Aircraft feels that the 45 minutes flying time would be increased considerably once the jetpacks become mature making it an important tool for Fire Fighters all across the globe. Peter Coker, CEO of Martin Aircraft informed that they are already working with a undisclosed company to make a more powerful mechanism that would make these jetpacks a lean mean flying machine. He stirred up speculation by saying "We hope to have something to say on that early next year,"
Dubai’s civil defense force, has also ordered simulators from Martin to train its Fire Fighters to use the jetpacks and be prepared for unprecedented situations arising during their firefighting missions. Dubai’s civil defense department director Ali Hassan Almutawa told the BBC.
“Sometimes, in fires, people go to the top of the building. You cannot always get ladders there, and you cannot always use the elevators. Rescue and fire-fighting, we see these as the main role at first. But there could be many other roles. The [jetpacks] can go into confined spaces to size-up the situation. We are going to modify them with thermal-imaging cameras.”
I know that many would call this move as a gimmick but when you look at the skyline of this small Arabian city you will realize that the city is calling for trouble in the wake of a 911 like attack or a natural calamity. There is no way people stuck in higher floors could get help, and with the current technologies it is impossible to device a mechanism to assist them. It is said that ‘Necessity is the mother of all inventions,’ who know, may be the Jetpack Technology gets the really footing because of their use in Dubai.