Dubai’s Directorate of Civil Defence has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Martin Aircraft for the delivery of up to 20 jetpacks, which will be used to fight fires in the city’s high-rise towers.
The deal was signed earlier this week at the Dubai Air Show. Alongside manned and unmanned jetpacks, New Zealand-based Martin will also supply two simulators to the emirate, as well as training, spare parts and servicing.
“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,” said the DCD’s Lt Col Ali Almutawa.
“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.”
In development since 1981, the current iteration of the Martin Jetpack can be flown by pilot or remote control and is capable of vertical take off and landing (VTOL). A V4 engine provides a top speed of 40 knots, with a range of 30km and maximum flight time of around 30 minutes. The pilot can take the machine to a ceiling of 3,000ft, while a ballistic parachute system can be deployed in case of an emergency.
While Martin Aircraft has targeted the emergency services market in the past , the deal marks a significant step forward for the company and the technology’s commercial viability.
“Martin Aircraft has focused on the first responder markets for introduction of its innovative aircraft, the Martin Jetpack, which provides to organisations such as the Dubai Civil Defence a significant operational advantage being able to carry commercial payloads of up to 120kgs, unlike Quadcopters which are limited to only a few kilograms,” said Martin CEO and managing director Peter Coker.
“The UAE has such strong and visionary leadership that has recognised the importance and utility of our technology and we look forward to the day when His Highness Sheikh Hamdan, who we know is also a keen aviator, flies one of our Jetpacks and experience the practicality of what the future holds for us all.”
Tech specs for the Martin Jetpack can be found here.