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Submission + - AA Patrols to 'park & fly' in congested cities (

arkhan_jg writes: The AA, a British breakdown assistance company, are starting a new service for stranded motorists in tricky to reach places in time for the Easter getaway rush. As a follow on to motorcycle patrols threading through congestion and Land Rovers for snow-bound roads, the AA are introducing Project Apollo — a rapid response patrol that will see AA Rocketmen in lightweight jet-packs flitting over traffic jams to reach stranded motorists.

AA future technologies strategist, Dr Raif Lopol, said: "Despite advances in Jet Pack Technology (JPT), it is unlikely at this stage that AA patrols will actually 'patrol the skies' – fuel costs make that impractical.
"It is more likely that the AA patrol will employ the 'park & fly' system, whereby the AA patrol van parks within one mile of the stricken member and the jetpack is then launched from the rear of the van."

The jet-packs, which cost £42,000 each, are made of lightweight carbon fibre, have a top speed of 80mph, can reach a maximum height of 8,000ft and have a flying time of ten minutes.
Most importantly they can hover up to 250ft above gridlocked traffic and drop down to a stricken vehicle in areas where a patrol van may not be able to get through. A parachute is packed for emergencies.

"The initial test flights have gone well," said AA patrolman and test pilot Hugh Grenoble.
"We're working on an ultra-lightweight toolkit that should allow us to do most quick fix repairs. Obviously, we won't be able to do any towing but the benefits more than outweigh this. It will be nice not worrying about potholes for a start.

It is easier to change the specification to fit the program than vice versa.