Once Dubai became home to the tallest damned skyscraper in the world, the Burj Khalifa, it was inevitable that someone might ask, "hey, what do we do if there's a fire on the 150th floor?" The obvious answer? Flying firemen, of course.
GizMag reports that Dubai's Directorate of Civil Defense has inked a Memorandum of Understanding with the jetpack makers at Martin Aircraft Company Limited for, as Martin's press release states, "the intended future delivery of manned and unmanned Jetpacks, Simulators, Spares Parts, Support Services and both Pilot and Engineer training for appropriate Civil Defence and Fire Service personnel." That means flying firefighters.
Martin has had first responders in the crosshairs as a target market, all along. With vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capacity as well as the capacity to function like a drone without a pilot on-board, Martin's jetpacks are ideally suited to urban environments that might be extremely tough for traditional equipment to navigate. Plus, they're pretty awesome to watch in action, as the video below demonstrates.
If Martin's product takes off with civil authorities, a jetpack in the back yard doesn't sound nearly as crazy as it once did. For now, we're probably safer sticking with drones, and leaving the jetpack piloting to firefighters.
Photos by Martin Aircraft Co.