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Jetpacks to the rescue? UK company tests tech for use in emergency response

A Gravity Industries "jet suit" being tested in the Lake District, UK.
A Gravity Industries "jet suit" being tested in the Lake District, UK. © @GravityIndustries YouTube / France 24
2 min

Could jetpacks be used to help save lives in emergency situations? A UK company, Gravity Industries, has been testing the tech with the help of paramedics in the mountains of the Lake District to see if it could help emergency services cut response times in rural and hard-to-reach places.

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In one simulation, a paramedic wearing the "jet suit" was dispatched to aid a 10-year-old girl who had fallen from cliffs and sustained a serious leg injury.

After receiving the coordinates, the paramedic was able to reach the girl in only 90 seconds. Responders on foot would have taken 25 minutes to make the same journey.

"First flight in Cumbria for a jet suit that's going to save lives and ease suffering, so, an incredible moment.

"A truly, truly incredible moment. It's absolutely astounding how quickly we're going to be at somebody's side that needs us."

Powered by five miniature jet engines mounted on the pilot's arms and back, the suit has a maximum speed of 32 miles per hour (51 km/h) and can reach altitudes of 12,000 feet (3,658 metres).

The Gravity Industries jet suit is just one of several jetpack-like technologies in development around the world, demonstrating that jet-powered personal flight is no longer just science fiction.

Last year, Frenchman Franky Zapata successfully crossed the English Channel using a jet-powered hoverboard called the "Flyboard" making the 22-mile (35 km) crossing in 22 minutes.

 

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