From the comic books of the late 1920’s, you must have read and fantasized about Buck Rogers in the amazing stories expeditions using a Jetpack to combat crime. More recent movies such as the Ghostbusters have further offered a glimpse of future technologies that will enable mankind to be airborne.
For close to 100 years, jetpacks have had a botched flight owing to its sheer weight and the impracticality of borne by a single individual.
However, with the rapid milestones in the realms of technology, the jetpack is not only airborne, but also finding a number of applications which were once thought to be fictional science.
A case in point is the Dolphin system that incorporates the jet pack along with a fire hose and a jet ski to put out fires.
The Invention and Evolution of Jetpacks
Wendell Moore is widely accredited with the first attempt to build a personalized jetpack (rocket belt). It is on record that he began his works in 1953. Marrying chemistry and physics principles, Moore engineered a rocket belt that was powered by hydrogen peroxide which was broken down using silver as a catalyst and nitrogen gas to a steam and oxygen.
Thrust (lifting force) was produced by the high pressured gas that was ejected as a result of the chemical breakdown of hydrogen peroxide from the nozzle. The thrust was powerful enough to lift 280 pounds.
The shortcoming of the invention laid on the limited airborne period: 20 seconds only! The limited time airborne proved to be the death knell of the rock belt. It wasn’t feasible, and being a military commissioned project, it was switched off.
And the limitations
Limitations of the early versions forced engineers back to the drawing board. The response to these limitations characterizes the various models of the jetpack in modern use.
For instance, to respond to the shortcoming of the bulkiness of the fuel and the short airborne time, an external source of fuel on the ground is tethered to the jetpack using a flexible hose pipe.
This model typically exemplifies the Dolphin System employed by the Dubai Civil Defence. The Martin JetPack and the JetLev, fall under the water-powered jet packs.
Other alternatives were based on fabricating an engine that was efficient. Examples include; Jet Wing, pioneered by Yves Rossy, a Swiss inventor.
The Dolphin System
Over time and again, United Arabs Emirates hasn’t shied to embrace cutting age technology to address their challenges. The latest to be pulled from the hat being the Dolphin System.
In an attempt to address fire outbreaks, Dubai authorities commissioned Martin Jet Pack to design a jet pack that could be used to address the perennial fire outbreaks of the skyscrapers along the water shores.
Why the rivers and not the road?
The answer to that question is squarely placed on the rapid response time required to deal with fire outbreaks. No traffic jams hence swift response!
The Dubai Civil Defence has aired a demonstration of the application to some of the major media outlets. A signature of the project success.
A combination of a jetpack and jet ski has released a video demonstrating its new Dolphin system, which is composed of a jet ski, a jetpack, and a firehouse. Using the thrust generated by the jetpack, the firefighter will be hoisted to battle flames on top of buildings and bridges.
The Jet Ski will allow firefighters and first responders to use the river and sea instead of roads to travel to the site of fires, avoiding traffic and shortening their response times.
The jetpack will launch the firefighter and the hose into the air so that they can reach bridges, boats, and even buildings along the coast. Working on principle on a water mass, cases of fire engine reserve tanks running dry will be a thing of the past!
The advent of jetpack firefighter application will literally scale firefighting practices to greater heights.