There are a lot of things that we wish were real from the glorious world of Marvel Comics. I mean, some people wish they were living in it, and others just wish they could have the powers that the characters hold. Long story short, Richard Browning and his team, known as Gravity, have created their own version of an Iron Man suit, and oh yes, it flies.
The 38-year-old UK inventor named his invention Daedelus. For those who don’t know what or who Daedelus is here is a mini Greek Mythology lesson for you, because it is relevant: Daedelus and his son Icarus made an attempt to escape Crete with wings, so Daedelus built some from feathers and wax. There was a catch, though. They couldn’t fly too high because the sun could’ve melted the wax and not too low because the dampness of the sea could’ve ruined the feathers. Of course, Icarus ignored his daddy and flew too close to the sun and his wings melted then he fell into the sea. Thankfully, Daedelus successfully made the journey which was likely the reason why Browning chose that name specifically.
To fly, Browning strapped six kerosene-powered micro jet engines (akin to those found on model airplanes) with four attached to each of his arms with two more on his lower back. Each motor produces 46 pounds (22 kg) of force (Think of a small plane engine on your arms). To fly this device, Browning remains in peak physical condition as a dedicated triathlete in order to maintain control of the engines.
He uses an emergency switch that stops everything when the switch is not being pressed. This is designed to go low and slow, no more than six to 10 feet above ground and no faster than normal walking speed. (We can see why the name Daedelus is perfect for this device.) With the investors and partners, including Redbull, the kerosene jet fueled device cost him £40,000 ($50,000 US).
Now, we know that this looks and sounds a bit dangerous, but Browning takes the proper precautions and wears a fireproof suit as well as he has two people on hand with fire extinguishers to stand by every time he tests the device. Before having the rockets only on his arms he had them on both legs and the arms before, but he switched it up later. He also added a Sony-built display that shows the fuel levels. The team’s biggest possible goal for this device is to see use by rescue teams or could even see military application.