“Real-life Iron Man” pilots jet suit up Europe’s longest zip wire

UK inventor Richard Browning has successfully flown his record-breaking jet-powered suit up Europe’s longest zip wire at speeds of almost 100km/h.

Self-styled “real-life Iron Man” Browning – who is founder and chief test pilot at Gravity industries – said that the mile-long zip wire, at the Zip World theme park in North Wales, offered a great opportunity to further explore the speed, stability and acceleration of the jet suit.

In collaboration with the team at Zip World and local partner ISC, Browning built a safety device to enable him to fly at potential speeds in excess of 100 mph.

Last year (2017) Browning – a former royal marine reservist – set a world record for the fastest speed in a jet engine powered suit when he achieved a speed of 32.02mph (51.53km/h) over a lake at Lagoona Park in Reading.

As previously reported by The Engineer, Browning’s Daedulus suit is made up of four miniaturised arm-mounted gas turbine engines and two hip-mounted versions each providing 22kg of thrust and providing enough lift to enable the wearer to fly.

jet suit
Browning piloting the jet suit down the Velocity zip wire

Controlled by the pilot’s body movement, the suit is Wi-Fi enabled and includes a Heads-Up Display that can highlight key safety and performance indicators, including fuel levels and engine operation. It also allows live data streaming from the suit for ground monitoring and the HUD system.

Commenting on the latest tests Browning said: “Since we achieved the Guinness World Records title we continue to be on an aggressive research and development journey to explore the high-speed stability of the Gravity Jet Suit.” Said Browning. “The team were excited to push the boundaries of speed with the support of Zip World and ISC as we discover even more potential in this exciting exploration into human flight.”