A British engineer dubbed the real life Iron Man demonstrated his flying suit over gridlocked Bangkok yesterday – claiming it will be the future of travel.
Former Royal Marne Richard Browning flew in his six cylinder jet suit, which he controls by movings his arms, in front of crowds along the Chao Phraya River.
The inventor, from Wilshire, UK, was seen reaching speeds of 50kmph in front of skyscraper’s in the Thai capital, notorious for its pollution and traffic jams.
Richard, who was attending a manufacturing event, believes suits like his will be ‘’the future of travel’’.
He said: ‘’In terms of practical applications [for the suit] there are some niche uses in terms of very precise search and rescue, special forces use to get soldiers in or out of places and potentially the police forces getting into areas very quickly.
‘’But, to be honest, our main focus is entertainment and racing and using that as a mechanism to accelerate the development of the technology.
‘’The very first motor cars were considered to be noisy, inefficient and in no way as good as horse, but look what happened with many years of evolution, so I think we’re on the same pathway. This will rapidly improve with every month that goes by.’’
Richard, founder of Gravity Industries, said in a press release his jet suit flight was the first time it had been performed in Thailand.
He added: ‘’We believe this will be the future of travel.”
Richard has previously revealed that Britain’s Ministry of Defence had expressed interest in using his suit, having previously ‘’given up on the idea of flying soldiers until they saw his design’’.
His suit works using six miniature jet engines, or thrusters, which are attached to a rigid exoskeleton at the back and arms. It takes off vertically and can be controlled by moving the arms, while a display inside the helmet gives updates on fuel consumption.
He said: ‘’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.
‘’My approach to flight was why not augment the human mind and body, because they are amazing machines, so I just bolted on what was missing – thrust.”
Richard was in Thailand attending the Exponential Manufacturing Thailand 2019 event, where ‘’disruptive technologies’’ in different sectors will be shown.
Mr. Supant Mongkolsuthree, Chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries said: “Since the world is changing every second, it is important that we open our mind to see things and constantly learn from them.’’