The future is already here -- it's just mostly in Dubai. This week, the city, part of the United Arab Emirates, signed a deal with real-life jetpack maker Martin Aircraft Company to purchase 20 jetpacks for first responders. Why do rescue workers need jetpacks? Well, how else can they get to people stuck on the world's tallest building.
The jetpacks that Martin Aircraft makes are personal flying machines, but use ducted fans instead of proper jets. They can reach a maximum altitude of 3,000 feet, which means they can reach the entire 2,722 feet of the Burj Khalifa. The jetpacks fly at a top speed of 45 mph, so they can reach the top of the world's tallest building in roughly a minute. With a total flight time of 30 minutes, that gives pilots a little room to see the problem first-hand and maneuver around. The jetpacks can also fly unmanned or remotely piloted, so a rescuer could bring an extra jetpack to a stuck person and a pilot on the ground could fly them home.
In a statement about the deal, Martin Aircraft said:
Lt Col Ali Almutawa said that “The vision of Dubai Civil Defence (DCD) is protecting lives, properties and environment and to provide fast professional service, efficient investment of human and material sources to give best results. Dubai is one of the fastest growing future cities in the world with its modern skyscrapers and vast infrastructure it has always been a world leader in adapting new technology to improve and save people's lives, the introduction of Martin Jetpacks into our fleet of emergency response vehicles is another example of how Dubai leads the world” he said.
At $150,000 apiece, the jetpacks aren't for everybody. For a city like Dubai, which already boasts drone rescue and police Lamborghinis, jetpacks seem like a totally reasonable police investment.