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Partnering with Red Bull's amazing real-life Iron Man

Ex-soldier, Richard Browning is re-imagining manned flight in the shape of a real-life Iron Man suit that actually flies.

What is driving him? "I'm inspired by doing things that haven't been done," says Richard".

38-year-old Browning decided he wanted to fly two and a half years ago and has been developing this particular suit in his garage in Salisbury, since the Summer of 2016. He's named this mark 1 jet-engine suit after the Greek mythological figure Daedalus, the father of Icarus.

Mark Hester, of the Imagination Factory, who are developing the heads up display for him, recalls when they first joined forces:

"We met Richard at Innovate2016 in November. It was a busy day at the exhibition, as the response to the prototype we'd developed for swim training, had been overwhelming. It projects an athlete's training data into the water ahead of them, so they don't need to check a wrist timer mid-training and a number of alternative uses were being suggested by visitors to the stand, including Richard's."

"The Marvel character himself insists on constantly 'challenging possibilities' and it felt like we had met the real-life British version in person."

"Richard's jet-pack suit was coming together well, Red Bull was interested and he was depending on a very rudimentary practice to tell him about fuel level and engine performance. It meant playing it safer than he wanted, to avoid crash landing, and was hugely limiting his flight times. We discussed some possibilities and arranged to meet up. Our use of Heads-up display (HDU) tech was a dream come true for him and we were thrilled to start work and watch him test it out."

The force comes from six micro gas turbines (jet engines) mounted on his arms and lower back. Though the suit is capable of extreme speeds and altitudes, Browning is currently exercising a bit of restraint, requiring extreme levels of fitness to steady the jet streams.

"Working with Richard has been an inspiring experience," continued Mark, "because of his indomitable pioneering spirit."

"The project is dominated by technical challenges that need to be overcome one at a time, but there's such a great team involved and some great technology like 3D printing and open source electronics, so things are progressing rapidly."

What's it like to fly in a real-life Iron Man suit?

According to Richard M. Browning, the inventor of this incredible working prototype, it's "like riding a bicycle in three dimensions".

"Our vision," says Richard who has recently launched his business, Gravity, "is to build an entirely new generation of human flight systems for commercial, military and entertainment applications."

Watch the Red Bull launch video and see for yourself.