- Title: Britain's "Iron Man" unveils first electric jet suit
- Date: 14th July 2021
- Summary: GOODWOOD, WEST SUSSEX, ENGLAND, UK (JULY 8, 2021) (REUTERS) RICHARD BROWNING, FOUNDER OF GRAVITY INDUSTRIES, TALKING TO SPECTATORS / WIDE OF JET SUITS ON TABLE (SOUNDBITE) (English) RICHARD BROWNING, FOUNDER OF GRAVITY INDUSTRIES, SAYING: "So the electric version is really, I suppose, a physical manifestation of our desire to constantly push the boundaries of what's possible. It is right on the margin of what's possible because of energy density and batteries. And yet we've actually managed to go and get it to work today. Honestly, 24 hours ago, it wasn't really achieving what we needed. And we put our money where our mouth is and actually demonstrated it live to people. So it's the beginning. As battery technology gets better and better, it will get better and better and we'll see where we get to finally."
- Embargoed: 28th July 2021 09:17
- Keywords: Goodwood Festival of Speed Gravity Industries Richard Browning first electric jet suit human flight innovations jet suit jetsuit real-life Iron Man
- Location: WEST SUSSEX, ENGLAND, UK / AT SEA, OFF SOUTH COAST OF THE UNITED KINGDOM
- City: WEST SUSSEX, ENGLAND, UK / AT SEA, OFF SOUTH COAST OF THE UNITED KINGDOM
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Europe,Science
- Reuters ID: LVA003ELTAMAH
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The inventor of a jet suit that lets the wearer fly like "Iron Man" has unveiled his newest suit, powered by electricity. Richard Browning, founder of UK-based Gravity Industries, told Reuters on July 8 that switching from jet fuel to an electric powered suit is part of their desire to push the boundaries of what's possible.
"It is right on the margin of what's possible because of energy density and batteries. And yet we've actually managed to go and get it to work today," Browning said at the Goodwood Festival of Speed motoring event in southern England where the electric 'E-Suit' was first flown. The current batteries are only powerful enough to get a human airborne for a matter of seconds, compared to the four minute flight time of the jet fuel-powered model.
"The electric suit has enough power to run a small street of houses. It is phenomenal how much energy you need in a small form factor to get a human off the ground. And it really just brings home how much energy you have in gasoline and diesel or those fuels. So we're getting there and it'll only ever get better," added Browning.
Gravity Industries was launched in March 2017, with founder and Chief Test Pilot Browning demonstrating his jet suit all over the world.
The jet fuel-powered suit can hit speeds in excess of 80 mph (128 kmh) and is technically capable of reaching an altitude of 12,000ft, although for safety purposes it is flown lower.
In recent months the company has demonstrated their jet suits to the Royal Marines to test how their product can assist in Maritime Boarding Operations. The company said their team spent three days with 42 Commando Royal Marines from HMS Tamar off the south coast of the United Kingdom.
The jet suit has previously been tested by paramedics in England's remote, rugged Lake District region to get them to people in danger or distress in a fraction of the time it would take to travel by car or on foot.
Browning added: "So military and such a rescue; they are new applications, but they're very real. We've done enough exercises with both of those groups now in a variety of countries to prove that there's actually a really powerful role for the equipment. So watch this space."
(Production: Matt Stock)
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