UK-based manufacturer Parajet International now believe that one-man flying machines are now viable option for the police and military. If you are thinking this sounds like a game of Halo 4, jet packing your way through a map to snipe someone, that’s because it is exactly what they’re trying to create… or at least something similar, think more Inspector Gadget with a small glider on hit head, less Master Chief and you’ll be on the right lines.
“In the Middle East and South America they’re using them for a multitude of different things,” managing director Tom Prideaux-Brune told Reuters at the Farnborough Airshow. “Border patrol, search and rescue, aerial reconnaissance, medical supply, anti-poaching operations – all sorts of different things.”
Even US police forces are using them now in a bid to track down and locate cannabis farms. They’re quick to deploy, simple to operate and have low running costs, especially so when compared to helicopters.
“One person was able to take off and fly over a vast area of woodland for two hours. They located the cannabis farms and then simply called in the troops. Instead of 30-40 guys on the ground sweeping an entire forest, it required just three. It’s really very efficient.”
Each Parajet kit comes equipped with a glider, motor-driver propeller harness, helmet and other safety equipment, with a total purchase cost of around £9,000 / $15,400. Parajet are hardly the first to make such a device, but they are the first to make them to military specifications.
“We’re not saying ‘Hey listen, a paramotor can do the job of a helicopter.’ What we’re saying is that at certain times a paramotor can be used as an appropriate, cheaper alternative,” said Prideaux-Brune. “Don’t send a dumper truck to do a wheelbarrow’s job.”
Now some police forces are looking to deploy them in built-up urban areas, as they’re cheaper than drones and you get the human element as well. However it’s unlikely that UK police forces will be too eager to use the system as Parajet say the system doesn’t work very well in rain, and we have plenty of that here.
Thank you Reuters for providing us with this information.