Just weeks after two men wearing jetpacks flew alongside a commercial plane across the Dubai skyline, the Dubai Civil Defense is exploring how they can use commercial jetpack technology for more practical applications.
Now, Dubai authorities, with the help of the Martin Aircraft Company, are looking into the ways that the current models of commercially available jetpacks can be modified to suit the needs of firefighters—particularly to address emergency firefighting scenarios in tall buildings, as Dubai is home to a number of skyscrapers.
Dubai’s Civil Defence chief Ali Hassan Almutawa explained the problem to the Khaleej Times,“Dubai is leading the world in high-rises, and sometimes we have challenges or difficulties reaching those buildings,”
In terms of design, plans for a standing platform will be attached between propeller engines that gives firefighters a chance to use the default hover mode, which will allow them to let go of controls and move with more freedom to help assist people in need and even carry necessary equipment to protect people and do their job.
The packs are created by New Zealand-based firm Martin Aircraft and they use ducted fans to get off the ground. They can reach speeds of a staggering 75 km/h (46 mph)and climb to a height of 914 metres (almost 3,000 feet). Ultimately, this height is just over the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building.
Dubai Civil Defense is looking to receive 20 jetpacks and a couple of simulators by 2016. This will mark another first for the country, as they will be the first in the world to use jetpack technology for emergency response.
The country is also continuously exploring ways that jetpack technology can be applied to more industries in the future, but is currently focusing primarily on how this advancement is set to give the Civil Defense officers an opportunity to respond quicker and more efficiently to real life emergency scenarios in Dubai’s skyscrapers.