Gravity Industries, a company that has been developing an ‘Iron Man’ style jet-powered flight suit since 2017, recently demonstrated its medical emergency response potential in the UK late last month.
The recent collaboration of Gravity Industries and UK’s Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) simulated a hiker receiving a leg injury that would leave them unable to walk. In the simulated event, the hiker was in a remote area inaccessible by car and difficult to access by foot. Using the Gravity Industries jet suit, a responder was able to arrive on the scene from an access road in just 90 seconds, when the trip would have taken 25 minutes to walk.
With victims of incidents such as spine injuries, mere seconds can make the difference between life or death, and the Gravity Industries jet suit might be able to save paramedics entire minutes. Said GNAAS director of operations Andy Mawson: “We think this technology could enable our team to reach some patients much quicker than ever before. In many cases this would ease the patient’s suffering. In some cases, it would save their lives.”
The Gravity Industries jet suit uses six small jet engines to fly; two positioned on each of pilot’s arms, and two on their back. The micro-jets can be powered by either kerosine jet fuel or diesel, and the suit can reach speeds up to 32mph. The helmet included with the suit even features a heads-up display showing key data like thrust and fuel remaining.
Why it’s important: While the Gravity Industries’ jet suit has mostly remained a proof of concept for what might be possible in personal air transportation, this emergency rescue simulation has shown the high potential for this flight technology to save lives and more. While many aerial mobility companies envision shared electric air taxis, solutions like the Gravity Industries jet suit could be well equipped for rural transportation needs where infrastructure is limited.