A British inventor dubbed as the “Wiltshire’s Iron Man” showed off his jetpack flying suit at this week's TED 2017 conference. Richard Browning has successfully demonstrated how his suit can hover a few feet on the shores of Vancouver harbor. Browning uses mini jet engines on his hands to thrust him off the ground and uses his body to direct the suit which direction to fly.
The crowd of participants at the TED conference in Vancouver, Canada were wowed by Browning's short flying demonstration on Thursday. The performance was limited to hovering close to the crowd, giving the audience a good look at how the DIY flying suit works. However, Browning did say that his invention can fly up to a few thousand feet, with a propulsion speed of up to 200 miles per hour.
Browning has confirmed in an interview that he was Inspired by the Marvel comic superhero Iron Man to make his own exoskeleton jetpack. He further captivated the audience by flying in a circle and hovered a short distance from the ground using thrusters that were attached to his arms and back. Browning runs his own startup, Gravity, which is currently working on new technology for the flying device that will develop a much more sophisticated prototype.
According to The Guardian, Browning calls his personal flight suit Daedalus, and it is capable of propelling wearers to higher altitudes and faster speed. He shared that his experimentations on the various numbers and arrays of the engines on his limbs met a lot of failures. Currently, his suit is capable of flying at specific altitude for around 10 minutes.
An extreme athlete and engineer, Browning has revealed that his "Iron Man" suit has already received interest from investors such as those from the British military. According to the Fortune, they had told him they had lost hope of developing the flight feature of the suit until they saw his human-propulsion gear. Browning said that the latest exoskeleton jetpack could carry a person from the beach along the coast, straight up into a mid-air helicopter.