Ever fancied getting into the badass flying iron suit of Tony Stark from the Hollywood blockbluster movie ‘Iron Man’? Well, if you didn’t, this genius British inventor certainly did and also built his very own functioning real-life Iron Man flight suit.
British Entrepreneur Richard Browning, a former Royal Marine Reserve and the company he founded, Gravity, have designed, built, tested and now filed a patent for a piece of human propulsion technology that has been created using six miniature jet engines and a specially designed exoskeleton.
Known as Daedalus, the suit has been developed over the last year and uses four miniaturised arm-mounted gas turbine engines and two hip-mounted versions to enable the wearer to effectively take off from the ground.
Talking about the invention, Browning said, “This is a momentous point in aviation history.
“Daedalus is simply the beginning of a core technology that has endless potential in aviation, commercial and entertainment applications.
“I have aeronautics in my blood. My grandfather instructed on WW2 Hurricanes, and the other was Chairman of Westland Helicopters. My father was an aeronautical engineer and an innovator, too.
Browning says his suit has already been compared to Tony Stark’s fictional superhero Iron Man.
“We’ve already had a few comparisons to Tony Stark, but this is real-world aeronautical innovation. We are serious about building a world-changing technology business. We stand at the very beginning of what human propulsion systems will do.
“It’s at the same point as the mobile phone was in the early to mid-80s or the internet of the early 90s – and I have to say, it’s phenomenally exciting,” he said.
The Daedalus uses the human body to control speed and is able to vertically take off and fly. According to Browning, the suit is easily capable of flying at 200mph and an altitude of a couple of thousand feet, though he insisted he has “not got faster than a quick run”.
“There’s no rule book for this, there’s no manual,” Browning said. “When the Wright brothers were learning how to fly, there were no flying lessons, they had to just learn.”
He applied the same principle with his suit, a machine that straps jet power to the wearer’s limbs. These engines can be controlled to move across six different vectors – up, down, forward, backward, left and right.
As you can see in the video above, steering the Daedulus isn’t easy and takes a lot of crashes and mishaps to master.
“It just takes a little bit of practice, probably a cumulative 15-20 minutes and you’re there,” Browning said. “As you go faster you do start levelling out and going kind of superhero style.
“It’s about setting yourself ambitious targets and then leaving nothing on the table in pursuit of that.”
Gravity has ambitious plans to successfully complete the world’s first human propulsion flight in the next 12 months.
“Our vision is to build an entirely new generation of human flight systems for commercial, military and entertainment applications,” the Gravity team explains.
“Our mission is to build an inspirational technology company by re-imagining the future of human flight and pioneering aeronautical innovation.”
If you wish to get a custom suit of your own and take to the skies like Tony Stark, it is estimated to cost around $250,000.