Move over, Iron Man. Real jet-suited heroes will soon be able to respond to emergencies. Thanks to the advancement of technology, in the near future, first responders may fly to help victims.
The New York Post reported that a UK firm is providing a wide range of capabilities to emergency-service personnel. Thanks to the invention of Richard Browning, the 3-D printed Gravity Industries Jet Suit consists of two tiny turbines attached to each arm in addition to a larger turbine fastened to the back of the user. A test run was captured in video footage, and the designer reached a height of more than 2,500 feet over the 1.2-mile distance in 3 minutes 40 seconds.
The Gravity #JetSuit makes use of more than 1,000 bhp (brake horsepower) of jet-engine power combined with human nature to provide a most thrilling and captivating spectacle that is often compared with the actual Iron Man of Marvel comic-book fame. The Gravity Team, based in the United Kingdom, has delivered more than 100 flights and speaking events in 30 countries, including five TED talks.
“The Team and I are executing the idea of building Gravity into a world-class aeronautical engineering business, push perceptions of human flight's limits, and motivate a future generation to ask what would happen if…”
According to The Washington Post, Richard Browning touted the technology's advantages. “If you think about the cost of a paramedic helicopter and all the crew involved and the maintenance and everything, actually this is a fraction of that…. I have no doubt that it has its place in the portfolio of equipment that these [kinds] of professionals have at their fingertips.”
The potential applications are amazing, and it's one of the first real tastes of the future space age that was promised long ago by Western science-fiction. Contrary to the expectations of the 1950s' rocket man movies, we're not there yet. But in part thanks to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, this plan is on the table. In the meantime, current technology offers self-driving vehicles. Thanks to Richard Browning, not to mention the pioneers who came before him, we will soon be cheering on men who can withstand gravity.
As you probably know, jet packs have been in use for a while. Here's hoping that the improvement keeps going. As of now, these Jet Suits can reach speeds of up to 80 miles per hour. They're technically capable of reaching altitudes as high as 12,000 feet. Safety, however, requires that they fly at a lower altitude.
Great North Air Ambulance paramedic Jamie Walsh was recently trained to pilot a suit of this kind. The instructions for operating took just six lessons. Now Jamie is able to fly into action. When he spoke to Reuters, he was amazed by the feat. “Initially, when I was told about this, I thought it's impossible. And then it starts to become possible, and then actually you start to see the trials of what's achievable. And now I feel there is a place where this can benefit patients.”
There's more to be completed; however, it's a thrilling possibility of comic-book cool coming to life. The Post noted that we're just at the beginning. According to it, the next step of the project will be to improve the paramedics' flying skills up to a point where emergency services can be on the way via jet-suited paramedics in the Lake District, providing on-site emergency response and triage in just a few minutes instead of hours.