Let’s admit it! Being a die-hard Marvel fan, we all have dreamt of donning every possible Iron Man suit (metal suit from cave to nano-tech in EndGame), flying around, and saving our city from alien invasions. In fact, I tried to channel my inner Tony Stark to build a suit but immediately realised that I am too poor for that.
Later on, I noticed that I am not alone! Thanks to Richard Browning, the dreams of owning Tony Stark’s Iron Man suit have finally come true. A British tech startup founded in March 2017 by Richard Browning, Gravity Industries has created a jet suit inspired by the “Iron Man” films. It needs Tony Stark or Bruce Wayne’s fortune to afford it though- £340,000 ($445,860).
Browning flew in the jet suit over a closed-off street outside Selfridges department store in London as well.
Who is Richard Browning?
Richard Browning grew up making model airplanes with his aeronautical engineer father. He is a former Royal Marines reservist and oil trader before focusing full time on taking flight.
Back in 2016, Browning began his tests at a farmyard near his UK home in Salisbury, Wilshire. Around November 2016, Browning did his first flight for around six seconds with an engine on each leg, two on each arm.
In an interview with Guinness World records, he said:
The journey started around March 2016. Over the summer up until September/October time, we made constant progress. It was evenings and weekends and repurposing existing technology and learning from failure, then we did that first flight where we had an engine on each leg, two on each arm, and from there it was refining the system. Really it was a very short period of time to go from the idea to flying. It’s been very quick.
World’s first jet suite – Daedalus Mark 1
Dubbed as Daedalus Mark 1, Browning’s jets suit uses five gas turbines, two on each arm and one on the back. It produces over 1,050 brake horsepower to gain flight and can reach speeds of 32 mph, and an altitude of 12,000 feet. Furthermore, the jet suit can fly for five to 10 minutes. Notably, the fuel is stored in the backpack.
Since the suite is highly automated, every information about the suit, including fuel level and other technical statuses are transmitted in the user’s helmet display. Furthermore, the suit has a Wifi link, which helps the ground team to keep track of the suit and its wearer.
It’s worth mentioning here that the Jet Suit burns about four liters of jet fuel per minute, whereas a Bugatti Veyron on full power burns eight liters of fuel per minute. In an attempt to commercialize its jet suit, Gravity Industries is offering it for sale at a London department store. In case if you can’t afford it, you can shell out a few bucks to fly it instead.
A couple of months back, ‘rocket man’ Richard Browning demonstrated the potential of his jet-powered suit to the Royal Marines by hoping and gliding over the boats. In this case, the Royal Navy and fast patrol boat HMS Dasher were used.
Browning tested his jet-powered suit in the Solent, a strait that separates mainland Britain and the Isle of Wight in the UK. A small landing/launchpad was set up on Dasher’s forecastle as he leapt between the boat and two accompanying rib speed boats buzzing at 20 knots.
The trials proved that the jet suit works over a large body of water and that the pilot can land and take-off easily from boats or ships even with the limited space on the upper deck of a P2000 patrol vessel.
As per Browning, the work with Dasher proved extraordinarily successful and laid the foundations for further tests at sea from some of the Royal Navy’s larger warships.
Demonstrated suit in more than 20 countries!
Richard Browning has already demonstrated the suit in more than 20 countries across the globe. Also, the company is planning to launch a series of suits for teams to use fly around competitive racecourses. In addition to it, the company is planning to use this technology in military and search and rescue exercises.
All said and done, Aviation regulators, however, are still working out how to deal with jet packs. Once regulation issues are resolved, the sky’s the limit. So what you guys think about this awesome tech?
Main image credit: Gravity Industries
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