Marvel Comics’ Tony Starks is a business magnate/engineer who builds a powered suit of armor and gives us the superhero Iron Man. In the real world, British inventor Richard Browning is Tony Stark.
Browning, who founded the company Gravity, has combined his technology genius with his physical tools (he’s a triathlete and ultramarathon runner) to create a real life Iron Man suit, complete with six micro jet engines capable of flying at speeds up to several hundred miles per hour.
It’s called the Daedalus Flight Suit, and it’s been in development by Gravity and partner Red Bull for over a year, and although it’s not quite as spectacular as Iron Man’s get up, it’s a pretty good start. The small jet engines are strapped to the arms, ankles and back and powered by a highly flammable liquid that’s housed inside the fuel bladder-equipped suit.
It’s also got some very Iron Man-like features, including an HUD display that allows Browning to track fuel levels, engine and flight status. This kind of technology is of course also WiFi and Bluetooth capable, enabling the suit to broadcast live video and crews on the ground to monitor its status.
Browning has yet to take the suit for an Iron Man-type spin and has thus far been limited to hovering or maneuvering in small spaces, but he says it’s completely capable of high speed flight. Anyone interested in a firsthand glimpse can check out the Daedalus and its capabilities when Browning and Red Bull take it on a demonstration tour off the coast of Los Angeles in June.