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Individual jet propulsion is perhaps one of the most cliche concepts of ‘the future’ – something generally more at home in the Marvel universe or in spy movies than reality, but this year, jet suits will be introduced to the Great North Air Ambulance service operating in the Lake District.
Currently, for Mountain Rescue foot response to reach an injured patient it takes around 30 minutes, now, Gravity – the company responsible for creating the suits – have demonstrated they can reach the summit of Helveylln 3300ft in 3mins 30 seconds.
The route in the video below was 1.2 miles and 2200ft of height gain and was completed in poor visibility that would have grounded a helicopter.
The fully-3D printed polypropylene suit utilises three small propulsion jets which produce up to 144kg of thrust so medics can ascend quickly, ultimately improving patient survivability in inaccessible environments.
‘There are dozens of patients every month within the complex but relatively small geographical footprint of the Lakes. We could see the need,’ explains Andy Mawson, Director of Operations for GNAAS, who came up with the concept for the suits. ‘What we didn’t know for sure was how this would work in practice. Well we’ve seen it now and it is, quite honestly, awesome.’
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