It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s…. Iron Man?
No, not the real character or even his actual suit, but the idea is certainly there. You might have heard of British inventor Richard Browning before; after all, he has been in the news for the jet pack he created that allows him to take flight.
He’s come a long way with his suit: His first flight lasted a mere five seconds, then he set a world-record with another flight in 2017 in which he hit 32mph, and now he’s not only broken his own record but smashed it: Just recently, Browning reached an astonishing 85mph! That’s almost triple his original record from two years ago. Want to see a video? Of course you do. Here it is:
So why does one take on a project such as this? “Well, I suppose fundamentally it’s I like a challenge,” Browning told CNN back in 2018. “This journey started, really, as an exercise in proving that it was possible to do something formerly only seen in the realms of super hero, comic book films.” But it’s more than just that: Browning also harbored a childhood dream of flying, like many kids do. His vision, however, included creating a jet pack, and throughout 2016, he worked tremendously hard with his team to make that dream a reality.
Browning has earned countless comparisons to Iron Man in the media, and it’s not too hard to see why. Aside from the obvious similarity in the flight suit, Browning shares parallels with Tony Stark in other ways, too. He built up his company, Gravity Industries, into a multimillion-dollar corporation; as an inventor, he clearly possesses strong technical abilities; and he’s been referred to as “dashing and charismatic” in a Wired article. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
To watch Browning’s TED talk on how he created his suit, check out the video below!