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Iron Man-like Jet Suit being tested for emergency response and special operations assault teams

Inventors have been for years divining ways for humans to release themselves from the shackles of gravity and fly like birds. Many companies including JetPack Aviation and a host of companies and inventors, are working on  machines intended to transport a single The suits have been making the rounds since then, with British inventor and founder of Gravity Industries Richard Browning demonstrating how they work.

 

The Jet Suit invented by Browning and manufactured by Gravity Industries since March 2017, the Jet Suit uses five mini jet engines (two attached to the hands and one in a backpack) that generate 1,050 horsepower and allow it to reach a top speed of 85 mph (137 km/h) and provide a flight time of up to 10 minutes. The wearer has four of the mini jet engines strapped to his hands and one on his back.  It gives the wearer full control on their  movement just by moving your hands.  The fuel is also stored in the backpack and On a full tank of jet fuel, a ride can last five to 10 minutes. The 1,050-horsepower suits reportedly cost $440,000 each.

 

Gravity Industries has developed a jet suit for paramedics, potentially allowing them to fly up mountains and reduce the time it takes to help people to a fraction of what it once took. The suit is able to reach an altitude of 12,000 feet and move at more than 50 km per hour. Britain’s Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) has collaborated with Gravity Industries on a test flight at the Langdale Pikes in the Lake District to see if the flight system could be used by paramedics in wilderness areas.

 

In the recent test where Browning acted as chief test pilot, he flew from a valley bottom to a simulated casualty site on The Band hill, near Bowfell, covering the distance in 90 seconds instead of the 25 minutes that would be needed to reach it on foot. Browning then played the part of a medic, providing simulated treatment of the casualty before calling in a medevac helicopter. The two organizations are now working on which steps to take next in their collaborations.

 

“In a time in healthcare when we are exhausted with COVID and its effects, it’s important to still push the boundaries,” says Mawson. “Our aircraft will remain a vital part of the emergency response in this terrain, as will the fantastic mountain rescue teams. But this is about looking at supplementing those resources with something completely new. “We think this technology could enable our team to reach some patients much quicker than ever before. In many cases this would ease the patient’s suffering. In some cases, it would save their lives.”

 

The chairman of the National Police Commissioner’s Council believes that there are “many possibilities” for the potential application of jet suits to law enforcement agencies, which may allow police officers to fly. “It’s clear that the gravity system has a lot of potential, and we’re fascinated by seeing how it evolves and whether it has possible uses in the police environment in the coming years. “He said. “It’s all about the usefulness of helping police officers do their jobs better, do them faster, and keep people safer. [and] Please ensure your safety. “

 

Another company, JetPack Aviation, is also closing in on realistic prototypes and plans to demonstrate a  full-scale working prototype to  the US military’s Special Operations Command, according to Stars and Stripes. Boeing  sponsored a $1-million competition to find a viable personal flying machine design—finalists are expected to partake in a “fly-off” on Feb. 29, 2020. Google founder Larry Page is also personally financing a flying-car company.

 

The action packed video was shared by the U.S. Naval Institute on their twitter feed with the caption: “The Royal Navy has been testing Jet Suit assault teams to determine if the Iron Man-like suits could be used to rapidly swarm and board ships.” It also said the U.S. Special Operations Command is “also evaluating a jet pack that can reach speeds of more than 200mph”. The Jet Suit was made by Gravity Industries, a British tech startup firm.

 

 

 

This amazing video shows the Royal Navy using flying Iron Man-style jet suits as they practice storming enemy ships. One man donning a jet-powered, carbon-fibre suit is seen launching off a vessel and effortlessly fly several feet into the air. Like something out of a Hollywood blockbuster, after a brief period to stabilise over the water, the man then storms a ship by landing on it.He then reverses his journey, glides off the ship back up into the air and hovers onto the vessel he came from.

 

A second clip from the same footage shared by the U.S. Naval Institute on their Twitter feed shows four men, again clad in Jet Suits, simultaneously launch themselves off a vessel flying in the direction of a ship in the middle of the ocean. One by one they are seen climbing high into the skies circulating the ship before taking turns to safely land onto it and shaking each others hands in victory.

 

Challenges

There are many challenges to overcome before these night ops would become  practical for special operation forces.  Surprise will be negated by the sheer noise of the jet packs, besides these flyers carry highly volatile fuel making such a task very hazardous. If they can overcome both of these.

 

Not much fuel. These things aren’t going to be used for long-distance flights anytime soon. The Gravity suit can fly for less than 10 minutes, and JetPack’s can apparently fly for just a little bit longer. If your flight time under ideal circumstances is only 10 minutes, you’re probably going to only be flying about 4 to 5 minutes from where you started—if you want to get back.

 

They’re expensive. These machines—at least for the near future—are not going to be cheap. Browning’s cost nearly half a million dollars each. Zapata’s apparently used to cost $250,000, although it doesn’t appear that he has any available for sale right now. (Zapata wasn’t immediately available to comment on their availability.) As the military blog The War Zone has pointed out, outfitting even a small nine-person infantry team with Zapata’s machine would cost around $2 million. It’s not quite the cost of a F-35 fighter jet, but it’s up there.

 

Pretty easy target. Flying any of these devices would make you a pretty easy-to-spot target for any enemy, The War Zone also pointed out. These machines are all also extremely loud, so any element of surprise you might have by descending from the air would probably be lost as your enemy hears you coming long before they see you.

 

Bastille Day video whether Zapata was carrying a real rifle, but it does seem like it wouldn’t be particularly easy to fire a gun while flying. Flying the thing looks incredibly difficult, as can be seen  in the video below. Pushing your arms against that much thrust and stabilizing your body in mid-air takes a ton of strength and endurance.

 

They’re very difficult to master. Browning, before even starting on the Daedalus, was a triathlete and ultra-marathoner. He’s said that it takes an immense amount of arm and core strength to stabilize your body against the thrust of the jets. While many troops might be have the level of fitness needed to control one of these machines, the demands are probably not what the average person would want to deal with on their commute. Zapata’s site reminds people that his Flyboard Air is not available for recreational use. And if it ever were, it would require 100 hours of training on the (somewhat safer) water version first.

 

Zapata is controlling the hoverboard with a device in his right hand, and had the rifle in the left. Despite what you might see in action movies, there are very few guns that can be fired with any degree of accuracy with one hand, and a rifle that size definitely isn’t one. So while you’re flying toward your enemy, who likely will be on the ground shooting at you with a decent degree of accuracy, you’ll be trying to fly toward them without crashing—or shooting yourself.

 

 

Regulatory requirements

They’re a in a regulatory grey area. Pretty much everything that flies in the US, from toy drones up to jumbo jets, is regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). These jetpacks would be no different. The FAA told Quartz that it would evaluate any new types of flying products on a case-by-case basis.

 

It’s possible that personal flying vehicles may meet the definition of what the FAA calls an “ultralight” aircraft, machines generally can only fly one person, that weigh under 254 pounds, and carry less than five gallons of fuel. Ultralights, the FAA said, don’t require FAA certification.

 

References and Resources also include:

https://qz.com/1667783/why-doesnt-the-military-have-jetpacks-like-the-bastille-day-flier/

About Rajesh Uppal

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