Dubai: Ever dreamed of flying like Iron Man? On Wednesday, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, took to Instagram to share a video of an gravity-defying jet suit, that he said he was “curious to try”.
The video features Richard Browning, the founder and chief test pilot of Gravity Industries, and the creator of the jet suit, demonstrating a flight at the NAS sports complex.
Speaking to Gulf News, Browning said that in the video he was demonstrating a "Gravity Jet Suit mk2.5 with five jet engines and 1250 bhp (brake horse power)".
Recently, Browning conducted a jet suit flight at the Expo 2020 Al Wasl Dome, in collaboration with the Dubai Police, to celebrate the UAE’s Year of the 50th. “The experience was amazing. I flew in and out of the dome, doing the celebration sign, with everybody (the crowd) going wild.
“We’ve flown in Dubai three times before, we first came to the UAE in 2018. This particular time was with the Dubai Police, we’ve had some of them over with us for some flight trainings. And, this was to just demonstrate what they have achieved and what we have achieved. And, it then just evolved into flying for the 50th anniversary at the Expo 2020,” Browning said.
Gravity Industries’ Instagram page @takeongravity shows other clips of Browning flying with Dubai Police, alongside their speedboats, during this collaboration.
Since he unveiled the first version of the jet suit in 2017, Browning has often been referred to on social media as Iron Man, performing hundreds of gravity-defying demonstration flights around the world and breaking two world records.
An ex-Royal Marines Reservist, Browning who lives in Wiltshire, UK, came up with the idea for the machine in 2016. At that time he was working as an oil trader in BP, a British multinational oil and gas company headquartered in London. He and a small team of friends got together to take on the challenge of solo flying. Browning started out with micro turbines on his arms and a Tupperware box on the back to hold wires.
“We thought it would be a fun thing to try and explore alongside my day job back in 2016. It worked so well that we’ve ended up scaling it up to quite a big business. We’ve done 145 events in 35 separate countries.
Currently, the suit has professional users like military, swat (Special Weapons And Tactics), paramedics. And, private clients for fun and racing.