Aviation Company Creates Jet Suit for Emergencies

Category: Technology/Innovations


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. paramedic / ˌpær əˈmɛd ɪk / (n) – a person trained to give medical care during an emergency before a patient is taken to the hospital

    Paramedics immediately stopped the bleeding in the victim’s leg.

  2. altitude / ˈæl tɪˌtud / (n) – the height of something above sea level

    We’re flying at an altitude of 100 kilometers above sea level.

  3. mitigate / ˈmɪt ɪˌgeɪt / (v) – to make something less damaging, painful, or harmful

    The government is providing financial support to mitigate the effects of the disaster.

  4. geographical / ˌdʒi əˈgræf ɪ kəl / (adj) – relating to the physical qualities of a location

    Experts studied the geographical impact of the earthquake.

  5. simulated / ˈsɪm jʊˌleɪ tɪd / (adj) – made to look, feel, or behave like something real

    The company tests cars in simulated crash situations.


Read the text below.

Aviation company Gravity Industries has created a jet suit that paramedics can use for emergencies in remote areas.

The company developed the jet suit in collaboration with the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS). The jet suit was created using 3D printed parts, specialist electronics, and jet motors. It has a top speed of 129 kph and can reach an altitude of around 3.7 kilometers.

According to GNAAS director Andy Mawson, the jet suit may significantly shorten paramedics’ travel time to reach patients in remote areas. He said the technology can help mitigate a patient’s suffering and even save lives in some cases.

Gravity Industries founder Richard Browning carried out the first flight test of the jet suit at the Langdale Pikes, where some of the country’s highest peaks are located. Mawson chose the test site based on an analysis of emergency calls, which showed that the region’s geographical features make it difficult to get medical help for climbing-related injuries. The test involved Browning flying from the bottom of the valley to a simulated casualty site high above.

Browning reached the location in just 90 seconds, a huge advantage for emergency responders who could immediately assess injuries and provide treatment to patients. Without the jet suit, it would take emergency responders 25 minutes to get to the site.

Currently, the suit costs around $440,000 and requires special training to operate safely. GNAAS is making some adjustments to it so it can be ready for use in real emergencies by summer next year. The company also said it is working on extending the jet suit’s flight time.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Aside from emergencies, in what other situations can the jet suit be used (e.g. commuting to work, making deliveries)?
• Do you think using the jet suit for emergencies is practical, or should other technology (e.g. rough-terrain ambulances) be developed? Explain.

Discussion B

• What do you think is the best way to prepare for emergency situations in remote locations? Explain.
• Do you think you are capable of handling an emergency situation? Why or why not?