It was only in June that the New Zealand-based Martian Jetpack Company announced its commercial-rated jetpack would be available in 2016 for anyone willing to pony up the price tag of $150,000-200,000, depending on the configuration.
But as originally intended, it appears the Martian Jetpack Company is getting some attention from first responders after all. The company has reportedly struck a multi-million-dollar deal with Dubai, and will be providing 20 special-purpose jetpacks fit for emergencies to its first responders, including firemen and EMTs.
The specialized jetpacks will be a bit more beefed up than the commercial version, so they’ll cost the Dubai Civil Defense Operations $250,000 each. Nevertheless, powered by 200 horsepower V4 petrol engines, they can easy take on the task of lifting first responders into the air as high as 3000 feet and can travel up to 45 miles per hour. Best of all, they can last up to 45 minutes in the air, which four and a half times longer than the jet-powered jetpack that recently made headlines.
The jetpacks will be advantageous for Dubai, as the location is known for its high-rising towers. Jetpacks would allow first responders to assess issues more quickly than they would by having to climb flights of stairs by foot, and perhaps even respond more up-closely and personally than they could by helicopter.
“We see them performing a first-responder role,” said Lt Col Ali Hassan Almutawa, director of the Dubai Civil Defence Operations Department. “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.”
“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 deal includes not only the jetpacks themselves, but also two training simulators that will give local first responders the ability to learn how to operate the machines before putting them to use while on duty.
The equipment should be ready for Dubai officials as early as next year, which is when Martian Jetpack will begin offering the Martian Jetpack for anyone with the money to afford one.
Below, you can watch a video about the Martian Jetpack and the company's vision for how it may be used: