“Iron Man” suit inventor sets speed record

Inventor Richard Browning of technology startup Gravity prepares to take off in his Daedalus jet suit at Henstridge airfield in Somerset, Britain, May 25, 2017. REUTERS/Mark Hanrahan

Inventor Richard Browning of technology startup Gravity prepares to take off in his Daedalus jet suit at Henstridge airfield in Somerset, Britain, May 25, 2017. REUTERS/Mark Hanrahan

 

Turns out there is a real  ‘iron man’ suit, thanks to a British inventor.

Richard Browning, a 38-year-old former commodities trader with little experience of engineering, developed his jet suit, named Daedalus, with the help of friends over the last 18 months. It is powered by six gas turbine engines which combined generate 800 horse-power.

“We didn’t set out to build an “Iron Man” suit – it’s just accidental,” Browning said, in reference to the highly successful trilogy of super hero films starring Robert Downey Jr.

Inventor Richard Browning of technology startup Gravity wears his ÒDaedalusÓ jet suit after flight tests at Henstridge airfield in Somerset

The suit’s engines are mounted on the pilot’s lower back and on each arm. It powers up using a hand-held throttle. Browning said the suit is capable of carrying a person thousands of feet in the air, and in theory could attain a speed of around 280 miles an hour (450 kph).

For safety reasons, however, Browning hovers just a few feet off the ground.

Browning, who first developed the suit in his garage, describes it as a cross between a jet ski and a Formula One car. He believes it can be adapted to be used in the military, search and rescue and theme parks – or in fact anyone who has the funds to buy one.

The suit features a helmet and holographic heads-up display and full body armor

Browning took it out for a spin in Somerset, England, and beat his record by going over 30 mph and covering several hundred meters.

The next step in Browning’s project is the Genesis suit which he is developing with the aid of experts and investors, but challenges still remain. Specifically – how to ascend safely from the ground to a height that a parachute could be deployed.

“It’s a real challenge if you have an engine failure at 50-60 feet. You’re going to really do yourself a mischief,” Browning said, adding “we’re working on a whole bunch of technology to address that, and until we do, we keep pretty low.”

 

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