Gravity Industries, a UK startup dedicated to human propulsion technology, has been making headlines over the past year for its boundary-breaking Jet Suit. More casually known as the “real-life Iron Man suit,” the wearable, engine-equipped device enables the user to, well, fly.
In a recent and particularly exciting development, Gravity Industries announced that Selfridges, a department store in the UK, is selling nine copies of the Jet Suit and is offering a VR experience at their London location.
Understandably, Gravity Industries’ Iron Man-like flying suits come with quite a price tag (which also explains the extremely limited run). Each suit is retailing for £340,000 (about $447,000), though the high end department store is reportedly also selling “experience days” with the Jet Suit.
The suit itself, conceived of and expertly flown by Gravity Industries founder Richard Browning, has 1050bhp and consists of arm pieces equipped with two mini jet engines each and a backpack fitted with an engine and a fuel tank. When worn, the Jet Suit allows people to hover over the ground and even fly at 32 mph for up to nine minutes.
It’s not clear whether just anyone is capable of controlling the Jet Suit—which integrates a number of 3D printed components—as Browning himself is something of an impressive specimen physically. An expert at callisthenics, the 39-year-old ex-Royal Marine Reservist was the perfect person to test and master his own Iron Man-like creation.
In terms of the 3D printed components built into the suit, Browning tells us that there are parts 3D printed from titanium, aluminum and polymers. The use of AM has presumably helped the UK startup to prototype, test, redesign and ultimately produce small runs of the Jet Suit. 3D printing companies EOS, 3T RPD and PROTIQ have all supported the Jet Suit project at some point.
To celebrate Gravity Industries’ unique collaboration with Selfridges, Browning showed up in London sporting the 3D printed Jet Suit and grabbed people’s attention by taking a brief fly down the street. It will be interesting to see who decides to invest in their very own flying suit!
In 2017, Browning was also awarded the Guinness World Record for the fastest speed in a body controlled jet engine powered suit. If you ask us, it seems likely that Browning will keep breaking human flight records—probably even his own!