Exo-skeleton flying suit heralds ‘momentous’ point in aviation history

Daedalus, a fully-functioning jet engine-propelled flying suit, similar to that worn by Marvel Comics’ Iron Man, has been released by London-based start-up Gravity Industries, in an exciting new move for the aviation industry.

While human propulsion in the form of jet packs have been around for some time, Daedalus breaks new ground by using wrist and hip-mounted gas turbines combined with a specially designed exo-skeleton, allowing for vertical take-off and flight.

“We’ve already had a few comparisons to Tony Stark, but this is real-world aeronautical innovation,” says Richard Browning, founder of Gravity Industries.

“This is simply the beginning of a core technology that has endless potential in aviation, commercial and entertainment applications. We are serious about building a world-changing technology business.

“We stand at the very beginning of what human propulsion systems will do. It’s at the same point as the mobile phone was in the early to mid-'80s or the internet of the early '90s – and I have to say, it’s phenomenally exciting.” 

Using ‘human 2.0’ principles, the Daedalus focuses on taking and augmenting the human mind and body’s abilities. By combining four miniaturised arm-mounted gas turbine engines and two hip-mounted versions the suit provides enough lift to enable a person literally to fly, by holding their body weight in the air for long periods of time.

A video from RS Components, who assisted in the development of the technology by providing tools, components and expertise to assist the engineers at Gravity, demonstrates the suit in action.

The suit is Wi-Fi enabled and includes a head-up display, made from Sony SmartEyeglass, to highlight key safety and performance indicators, including fuel levels and engine operation. It also allows live data streaming from the suit for on-the-ground monitoring.

Gravity Industries produced, designed, perfected and patented the new technology in just 12 months, including rigorous testing, phased flights and system evolution prior to the technology patent being filed. The start-up has already secured hundreds of thousands of pounds of investment.

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