Could You Be Rescued By Jetpack?

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Imagine how your grandparents must have felt the first time they saw a microwave. Remember how you felt when you saw those SpaceX rockets landing, perfectly balanced on their ends? Watching this video might just make you feel old, like science fiction has become reality, and everything is just a bit new fangled and mind boggling.

We proved you can scale a Lake District Mountain (3100ft Helvellyn) in 3mins 30 seconds, despite very poor visibility that would have grounded a HEMS Helicopter. The Mountain Rescue foot response is over 70 minutes typically. The route was 1.2 miles and 2200ft of height gain. This is the latest in a series of Paramedic Response Exercises to prove capability in parallel with training up real Paramedics to provide first response Critical Care in hard to reach geographies. Cardiac, breathing or blood loss cases are time critical and require rapid stabilisation to buy time for evacuation. This system, akin to the rapid response of a Paramedic on a motorbike in an urban environment, will be the difference between life and death for many critical cases.

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Is this a totally amazing piece of technology that’s going to transform mountain rescue response times? Or is it inevitable that it’ll soon become an extreme sports hobby option that’s going to result in stranded jet-packers phoning for help as they’ve run out of gas far from home? Or both?

It’s already available as a pay to play ‘experience’, with prices starting at £2,000 plus VAT for a group session flying experience. Perhaps it’s the answer to those ‘It’s my big birthday, what shall I ask for’ Forum threads?

Expectation?

Reality?

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Viewing 21 posts - 1 through 21 (of 21 total)
  • Could You Be Rescued By Jetpack?
  • IHN
    Full Member

    It does make a lot of sense (I think, but then, what do I know) for fast/first response stuff.

    dirkpitt74
    Full Member

    That’s pretty impressive.
    I can see something like this being really useful for first responders.

    I’d really like to have a go with one too (but £2k is a bit steep….)

    Martinhuutch
    Full Member

    You have to celebrate the sheer bloodymindedness of the bloke who developed this. Looks pretty stable in flight, which is quite something.

    It’s a very cool thing, as long as it can also carry the equipment the paramedic needs (the most obvious things being a defibrillator and o2), and you know exactly where the casualty is, as there isn’t a lot of fuel for searching. Be interested to see what the time saving adds up to when you include the usual response time for MRTs (and in this case members who are trained to fly) to assemble, reach the foot of the hill and in this case, suit up and carry out pre-flight checks.

    Sadly, it will probably come down to a cost/benefit thing for individual teams. Are there enough cases in which providing this kind of pre-hospital care after 1hr rather than 2hrs will actually save life or prevent significant disability? The survivability of cardiac arrest on the summit of Helvellyn I don’t think will change (the fatality rate is extremely high, even when it happens in Tescos.) Could make a massive difference for someone who has a stroke in the mountains.

    pmurden
    Full Member

    Cracking idea. I’ve waited with a patient for nearly 3 hours in the Peak District so this is brilliant.

    Superficial
    Free Member

    the fatality rate is extremely high, even when it happens in Tescos.

    This is true, it’s probably in the region of 10% survival overall but actually if it happens in public higher it’s a bit than this. If your local Tesco has a defib and someone knows how to use it, you can imagine it might be higher still. OTOH, survival from a collapse on Helvellyn presumably lower.

    Survival with CPR ongoing reduces by an estimated 3-5% per minute delay to defibrillation. So actually, if you’re walking the hills and your mates know CPR, maybe the RocketMan can come to your rescue. Arguably worth a try. I’d also be interested to see whether a nationwide drone-delivered defib service would work. At a minimum, this is an interesting and cool experiment that will provide some useful data.

    Martinhuutch
    Full Member

    At a minimum, this is an interesting and cool experiment that will provide some useful data.

    I view it like this. Coupled with drones, you can see lots of applications in hard to reach places.

    kernduro
    Full Member

    I provided a bit of MTB action for a Boxxe ad that had Richard in a few months back. Didn’t get to meet him and try out the pack unfortunately!

    jordan
    Full Member

    Strong arms required I woud think.

    Rockhopper
    Free Member

    Is there any kind of redundancy on those jet packs? If the engine fails then you are crashing presumably?

    Martinhuutch
    Full Member

    Hence the small ground clearance. I assumed that was just how high off the deck it could get, but apparently that isn’t the case. The potential for becoming MRT casualty no.2 must still be an issue, though.

    dangeourbrain
    Full Member

    I wouldn’t trust it. I have more hours of practice at jetpack rescue than I can shake a joystick at and I’ll tell you more, 90%+ of my efforts ended in death.

    ThruntonThrasher
    Full Member

    I think this is a terrible idea and will permanently spoil the wild places where we go to enjoy ourselves. The three minute response time is only for the case of someone being already suited up and ready to go.

    Just because it looked cool in a comic doesn’t mean it should be made to happen in the real world.

    Olly
    Free Member

    call me a cynic, but there have been quite a few of these “Jetpack future soldier” videos around. I think the same guy, dressed up in various uniforms representing whoever he’s trying to sell it to in the moment.

    Having said that. Hes got a working jetpack so more fool me.

    I suspect its likely to be one of those things that works as an idea, but by the time youve taken into account safety, redundency, training, cost, it doesnt really…. get off the ground.

    maybe.

    maybe im wrong.
    maybe there will be one parked up in every mountain rescue centre, next to the defib and the landrover, in 10 yrs time.

    seems there are simpler solutions though. Im surprised that manned multirotors are not more of a thing.

    this thing is a hexacopter, with dual motors and props on each arm, so plenty of redundancy. multirotors are held up by software anyway right? so programming in redundency in case of rotor failiure should be fairly straight forward?

    pressumably though you can generally glide a plane if needs be, and autorotate a helicopter, where as a failed multirotor becomes a brick with excessive/unnatural elevation pretty quickly? (much like jet pack guy)

    nickc
    Full Member

    How much fuel can he have, I’ll bet it’s not more than a few minutes worth of flight? What happens if he can’t locate the injured person within the safety limits of bingo fuel? And if all that back pack is fuel and electronics to keep the jets going, what equipment can he realistically carry? Can the jet pack carry two people? How does he get down again? Does this mean that there’s now an injured person and a MRT jet man waiting on the hillside for the ‘proper’ team to show up?

    Feels like a stunt.

    dangeourbrain
    Full Member

    Having said that. Hes got a working jetpack so more fool me.

    Thing is if he sold them to your average school run parent he’d only have needed to point out that the yellow zig zags genuinely don’t apply to a jet pack and he’d have flogged loads

    Olly
    Free Member

    what equipment can he realistically carry?

    good question, but i bet in that scenario (up helvelyn), he only needs a reasonablly equiped first aid kit, a space blanket and to be a paramedic.
    getting a pro on site fast is more important than getting loads of equipment up there, in many situations? If hes low on fuel pressumably he just sets it down and either walks it out, or awaits pickup from the landy.

    idlejon
    Full Member

    I think this is a terrible idea and will permanently spoil the wild places where we go to enjoy ourselves.

    How could it permanently spoil wild places?

    dangeourbrain
    Full Member

    How could it permanently spoil wild places?

    Well all these people with jetpacks will be easily mistaken for people with backpacks. Then because everyone with a jetpack is antisocial and fails to observe rule 1, all the saintly backpack folks will be tarred with that brush too. And jetpacks cause more erosion. And they’ll all be fat and lazy and litter, they’ll scare dogs that are being ignored and allowed to chase sheep just like they would in nature.
    So because of the damage and the behaviour and the dog walkers the rights of acoustic backpackers to use the countryside will be withdrawn.

    Something like that.

    dovebiker
    Full Member

    The chances of getting this approved for civilian use in open airspace are about zero. It only take a catastrophic failure of one turbine for it to fall out the sky and there’s almost no redundancy in the propulsion or control systems – the consequential damage liability would be huge that few businesses/operators would want to carry. Only probable use in some sort of sneaky beaky special forces malarkey.

    Lummox
    Full Member

    What a load of utter tosh, you may well get to a casualty considerably quicker but apart from being able to only offer basic life support as a solo rescuer (assuming you actually have the training beyond defib) this is just another example of the designer trying to find a market stupid enough to invest in the admittedly quite cool looking rocket suit. There is no way the solo guy could carry enough kit or carry out life support long enough for further resources. Sadly being in the great outdoors does bring an increased risk of delayed medical care and evacuation. The isolation is also one of the reasons we head into it.

    markgraylish
    Free Member

    Here at least (North Vancouver, BC), all the mountain bike trails are under VERY heavy tree canopy which is gonna make landing one of those very interesting…
    So, possibly a good idea in some areas but I doubt our local SAR team would find them useful…

Viewing 21 posts - 1 through 21 (of 21 total)

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