Mechanical Menagerie #13: Gravity Worldwide

Credit: Gravity Industries                    

This is a demonstration at Surfers Paradise, a resort town along Australia’s Gold Coast in the east of the massive Pacific nation.

Gravity Industries, the company Richard Browning co-founded to create the Daedalus Suit, has been up to quite a lot since I featured him in September 2017.

We have a list of videos to get through today so let’s dive right in to the first video, which is also the longest. If you’d like to see the flight demonstration, skip to the end. This was a talk that he’d given at Dyson HQ complete with a Q&A.

Credit: Gravity Industries              

In the video he mentions The Jetman as well as the Hoverboard that Franky Zapata invented. He stated that he was familiar with The Jetman and noted that he just went from the air to ground while Daedalus went from the ground to air and that they needed to meet in between. I find some striking similarities between the two. Both use turbines (Daedalus uses micro gas turbines but Jetman uses jet engines) to generate lift and don’t rely on a large number of complicated controls. They also rely on the movement of their pilot’s body to guide the devices although the Daedalus Suit seems to require more personal fitness which is talked about in this video as well as a little bit in the Tested video below.

He also brought up Hoverboard and thought that it was crazy due to the safety concern but he didn’t mention Hoversruf, which made me disappointed. I’d appreciate his opinion on them in the future. There is another point that I’d like to stress here. In the video he specifically said that he didn’t like flying over water due to the damage it would do to his equipment if he fell in. You’ll quickly see below how he consistently flies over the water despite this. He even does this in the video at the top of the page. Perhaps it just looks too good to give up.

Here is his obligatory Ted talk which is a quick overview of previous information as well as a really fast slow-motion flight demonstration at the tail end.

Credit: TED         

This is another demonstration at The John Hopkins Applied Physics Lab which occurs over water.

Credit: Gravity Industries

Apparently, private investors are interested as well since he sold one of them a suit. This is of course obvious; from luxury sports cars to the Kuratas mech there are plenty of options for rich people to spend their money on. Getting your hands on a Daedalus Suit would likely be a dream for any aeronautic enthusiast, thrill seeker, sci-fi or comic fan as well as sports professionals looking for a new challenge.

Credit: Gravity Industries

This was a basic review of the last few appearances but also included an interesting fact. The suit that was sold garnered $450,000 from the interested party. This easily puts it out of the range of an average buyer but for the military and emergency rescue applications it could quickly be applied as soon as the technology advances to the appropriate point. 

Credit: ABC News

Here is a demonstration he did for the fine employees of DXC Technology. The Golden Coast video at the top was filmed after this due to having leftover time for extra activities.

Credit: DXC ANZ

Here Richard demonstrates the Daedalus Suit at a Wired Live event in Tobacco Docks, London.

Credit: Gravity Industries

With all of these wonderful demonstrations of Gravity Industries revolutionary flight suit, why not try and set a record? Richard Browning set a record recently in the Guinness World Records for, “…fastest speed in a body-controlled jet engine power suit.” The speed he reached was 32.02 mph over Laguna Park. Seriously, more water? This time he even fell in at 1:51, which must have been uncomfortable. The video was filmed in 5K 360 degrees and you can view the different angles to see what it’s like when you’re flying.

Credit: Gravity Industries

Here’s the Guinness video and the middle finally shows what he was most afraid of. At about 1:05, during one of the three runs, he takes the dive in the lake. Towards the end of the video he adds in that he would like to add wings to the suit to improve flight and fuel usage.

Credit: Guinness World Records

Adam Savage of Mythbusters fame meets up for a fun discussion with Richard Browning of Daedalus Suit fame.

Credit: Tested

There were a few interesting points from this video. In the Dyson video, Richard had talked about the need for body strength while utilizing his suit. One of the main reasons was that the turbines weigh quite a lot and needed to be lifted up to land. Thus, if you lack the physical strength to do this then you will only fly up and up. It currently has no safety mechanism so only Richard uses it but in the future there can perhaps be a net to use but it will need to be heat resistant. This is also a similar requirement he needed for his boot.

He uses rattlesnake bite resistant boots which are synthetic, lightweight, resist the heat from the turbines and haven’t worn much since he started using them which you can see throughout his early tests. He brought up that the method of flying which began to work well for him was to stand up straight, similar to a scene from Iron Man which they found highly ironic. Do the CGI animators deserve the real credit? Only time will tell. His helmet even has a HUD, similar to Iron Man again, so that he can monitor the sensors without having to look at his chest for anything.  

For any extra information you can go to his official website or his YouTube channel.


For more articles related to technology go to Mechanical Menagerie and check out my other pages for excellent content on science, technology, history and more!




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