First responders in Dubai to be fitted with jetpacks
Friday, November 20, 2015, 8:45 AM - Officials in Dubai, UAE have placed an order for up to 20 real-life jetpacks at a cost of $250,000 U.S. each in hopes of making the jobs of first responders a little bit easier.
Dubai is home to towering skyscrapers and notorious for its rush hour traffic.
City planners hope the futuristic packs will help emergency workers get to hard-to-reach places with ease while avoiding gridlock.
The packs -- created by New Zealand-based firm Martin Aircraft -- use ducted fans to get off the ground. They can reach speeds of 75 km/h and climb to a height of 914 metres, just over the height of the Burj Khalifa, Dubai -- and the world's -- tallest building.
Lt Col Ali Hassan Almutawa, director of the Dubai Civil Defence Operations Department, told the BBC the jetpacks will likely be used in a variety of scenarios, adding they will be an especially useful tool for firefighters.
"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," he told the BBC.
The jetpacks are expected to be delivered to Dubai sometime next year.
There's no word on when first responders will begin using them.
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