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: