U.K.’s ‘Iron Man’ demos flight suit at TED conference in Vancouver
Iron Man may be a comic book hero, but British inventor Richard Browning’s flight suit may make anyone wearing it feel as close to being Tony Stark as possible. After all, Browning has been nicknamed “Wiltshire’s Iron Man.”
Browning demonstrated his jet-engine powered innovation at the TED conference in Vancouver on Thursday, in front of a crowd of eager spectators.
According to the BBC, Browning claims the suit can fly for 10 minutes straight, reaching speeds of over 320 km/h and an altitude of a few thousand feet (nearly one kilometre).
Browning is the founder of tech startup Gravity, which describes itself as a company that is “re-imagining the future of human flight and pioneering aeronautical innovation.”
The inventor said he started to create the flying suit (which he named the “Daedalus Suit” after the mythological Greek figure), out of fascination for flight, and because he enjoys a challenge.
“I did this entirely for the same reason that you might look at a mountain and decide to climb it – for the journey and the challenge,” said Browning in an interview with the BBC.
The suit uses six small jet engines to create thrust, and has an exoskeleton with helmet to protect the user, although Browning claims the machine is safer than a motorcycle.
He admits he doesn’t believe the Daedalus suit will hit the market anytime soon (tech reporter Ina Fried described it as “cool” yet “quite impractical”) but says the British military has shown interest.
“The whole journey was about trying and failing, and learning from that,” he told The Guardian. “I don’t think anyone is going to be going down to Walmart with it or taking anybody to school for quite a while, but the team at Gravity is moving it along.”Follow @jennynotjen
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