Intrepid individuals wearing futuristic-looking, jet-propelled constructions to lift themselves up in the air are nothing new. Yet the use of such jet packs has so far been mainly confined to stunts. Few people have been able to see real benefits from what is largely an under-developed technology. But that could all be about to change, as a jet suit invented by Richard Browning and developed by Gravity Industries has now for the first time been considered a potential aid in treating casualties by the UK-based Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS).

The underlying idea is that medical personnel will be able to reach remote, hard-to-access places faster than with existing methods thanks to a suit that is reminiscent of the comic book hero Iron Man. The suit could be particularly useful in first aid, as it can be deployed more quickly and cost-effectively than a helicopter and is above all more flexible. To test the idea's practicality, an initial trial has now been successfully completed in the UK's mountainous Lake District. This area in north-western England was selected because the local air ambulance service has to use helicopters to rescue dozens of patients a month on average, but these aircraft can often only land far from the scene itself, due to the difficult terrain. The suit used for the trial has been continuously developed since 2017. It boasts five turbines with a total horsepower of 1,050, a maximum speed of 137 kilometers per hour and a flight time of up to 10 minutes.

Great North Air Ambulance Service (Stockton-on-Tees, TS16 0QB, UK)