Dubai Is Seriously Buying Jetpacks for Its Firefighters. Seriously.
Dubai has a lot of money. But having money and having good ideas for how to spend it don’t always go together. That seems to explain why its fleet of police cars includes a Mercedes SLS AMG, Ferrari FF, a Bugatti Veyron, and Lamborghini Aventador. Also why, in 2014, the city seriously considered using a two-seater Lotus Evora and a couple of Ford Mustangs for shuttling paramedics to accidents at triple-digit speeds.
The latest example of Dubai’s … unconventional … approach to tackling emergency situations is a newly signed contract with Martin Aircraft Company, “for the intended future delivery of manned and unmanned jetpacks.”
Yup, jetpacks. “We see them performing a first-responder role,” said Lt Col Ali Hassan Almutawa, director of the Dubai Civil Defence Operations Department, according to the BBC. Almutawa added that they’d be especially good for handling fires in skyscrapers: “Sometimes, in fires, people go to the top of the building. You cannot always get ladders there, and you cannot always use the elevators.”
Martin says it’s been working on this jetpack idea since 1981. The latest version, which is actually very cool and could hit the market in 2016, can fly up to 3,000 feet, at 46 mph, for 30 minutes at a time. Because it can handle a 265 payload, Martin says the jetpack has potential as an emergency response technology—like plucking people out of burning buildings. What could go wrong?
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