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Jetpack Entrepreneur Creates Iron Man-Style Human Flying Suit (venturebeat.com) 51

"British aeronautic engineering startup Gravity unveiled a new human flying suit Friday," writes VentureBeat. An anonymous reader quotes their report. It's a six-engine jet-propelled personal flying apparatus that the company says will take regular humans to superhero heights at several hundred miles per hour. At the moment, flights are limited to just a few feet above the ground. The suit includes six miniaturized jet engines, two of which are worn on each of the pilot's arms, and two of which can be mounted on the feet, or, in later incarnations of the suit, low on the pilot's back. Each of the jet engines gets fuel from a backpack...

Gravity says the human body is "the airframe" and that your arms and legs serve to both direct and control thrust... "We've already had a few comparisons to Tony Stark, but this is real-world aeronautical innovation,"Gravity founder Richard Browning said in a statement. "We are serious about building a world-changing technology business. We stand at the very beginning of what human propulsion systems will do."

Browning tells TechCrunch "It's no way as dangerous or crazy as it looks."
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Jetpack Entrepreneur Creates Iron Man-Style Human Flying Suit

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  • Itchy nose (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Can just imagine being caught up in the moment and then instinctively trying to scratch your nose when it gets itchy.

  • 11:59PM 4/1/2017 and april fools layout has been removed.

    -dk

  • There is a reason the original jet pack was on the back. He's put a lot of effort and probably money into a design that is questionable at best. The thrusters on the legs present a problem if they start to push him heels over head. Having human joints absorbing the brunt of the forces and relying on them to provide stability in flight is just plain stupid. If there is a problem, using your hands is out. Just so many things wrong.

    • by scdeimos ( 632778 ) on Sunday April 02, 2017 @12:41AM (#54159359)
      This must be a late April Fool's thing. TFA's picture shows the gas turbines installed on his hands backwards - the intakes are pointing towards his elbows, the exhausts towards his hands. Unless you're expected to fly backwards and land using hand-stand maneuvres.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Think Ironman. You point your hands at the ground. You fly with your hands down by your waist. (He actually has lots of video.)

        Now, whether it's April Fools or not...can't say. But he would have had to make a lot of effort to fake that video. ;)

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Yes the bad design is straight from the poor physics of Ironman. Chosen by Hollywood because it looks cool. Chosen by this inventor because he gets a lot more press if he can tie it to Ironman (he no doubt knows it is a poor design)

          • well, personally, I think it MIGHT be a bit better idea than having them the other way, as, while it is easier on the muscles to strap the jets to your arms, and then just have the jets pull your arms (and hopefully the rest of you) around, you also wind up with the hot exhaust gases flowing down your arms right into your face. And if one or more of the jets injests something and decides to puke it's guts out the back at high speed, someone then needs to have turbine bits pulled out of their face...assumin

            • Hopefully they will remember to program it so it doesn't bend your joints in ways they aren't naturally designed to...

              Hopefully it all just explodes spectacularly without ever rising from the ground, killing the idiot... I mean the inventor.
              I really don't want idiots who believe that comic books are real to experiment flying above my head just because there are currently no laws or regulations preventing such idiots from doing so and because they posses time, money and mental illnesses which provide them the means for such experimentation.

      • You really have to question if this is a farce or real? Seriously?
      • TFA's picture shows the gas turbines installed on his hands backwards - the intakes are pointing towards his elbows, the exhausts towards his hands. Unless you're expected to fly backwards and land using hand-stand maneuvres.

        Oh wow. You've never seen Ironman.

        • Or the video in the article. However, if you watch the video, it's easy to see that this isn't practical. He only uses the boots a couple of times and they obviously interfere with his balance (0:12sec). The rest of the time he's essentially like being on a set of parallel bars, meaning everything's on his arms.

          It's easy to manipulate a human body once it's off the ground. Watch the video again. He has difficulty any time he gets tilted over maybe 15o. Because of the necessary power, he would be a pi

      • And the video shows him hovering using them in exactly that way.

        It makes sense - he's only gliding a few feet above the ground at the moment. You don't want to have to hold your arms up over your head the whole time. Or have the hot exhaust blowing back over your arms and into your face.

      • This must be a late April Fool's thing. TFA's picture shows the gas turbines installed on his hands backwards - the intakes are pointing towards his elbows, the exhausts towards his hands. Unless you're expected to fly backwards and land using hand-stand maneuvres.

        Yes he trained much like a gymnast to make sure he could hold his weight on his arms, you need a lot of core strength, it's in the video...

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZ05iAuIAlc

        Also he took the jets of his boots after one near backflip, their position makes them rather precarious for control and you would need very strong legs too.

    • Did you watch the video? There is a short scene of him doing exercises in a gym. And yes, hes has strong arms, really strong in relation to his body weight.
      • And then you get tired or get a cramp mid-flight, great. I suppose that's why the jets aren't on his back; that's (hopefully) where the parachute will go.
        • I suppose that's why the jets aren't on his back; that's (hopefully) where the parachute will go.

          I'm sure it will be great fun watching him trying to pull that cord with malfunctioning engines strapped to his arms.
          That is, if he's falling down on some other group of people, not the observer's.

  • I was thinking that while Gravity says "the human body is 'the airframe'...", gravity says this is a bad idea. But on further reflection I realized that if something goes wrong, it may be better to be alone up there with a parachute already strapped to you, than to be trapped inside an airplane with no 'chute.

    On the other hand, if the suit fails while you're below parachute height but still a couple dozen metres or more in the air, break out the butter, 'cause you're toast. Ironman aside, there is no suit

    • Ironman aside, there is no suit of armor that will save you from the rapid deceleration at the end of such a fall.

      But, but, but... Rhodey survived! I saw it with my own two eyes in the theater. I have witnesses!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    He's getting extra "thrust" from being near the ground. This design can hover, but it can't fly.

    Maybe later he'll add more thrusters, or more powerful ones.

  • a visit to the emergency room.
  • Imagine a couple of these engines on a small winged experimental aircraft!
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I don't think those earplugs are going to cut it when strapping 6 engines (yours for only $24,000 [chiefaircraft.com]) close to your body.

  • by jovetoo ( 629494 ) on Sunday April 02, 2017 @03:55PM (#54161021) Journal
    According to JetCat [jetcat.de], that turbine uses 725ml/min of fuel... For 6 turbines, that's more than 4 liter per minute... several hundred miles an hour peak speed in very, very short hops...

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