A jet suit, made with the help of metal 3D printing, is now on sale at Selfridges in London for the not-too-shabby price tag of £340,000 ($446,907 USD).
Invented by entrepreneur and “Real-Life Iron Man” Richard Browning, the jet suit is capable of reaching speeds of 180 mph, with a “mission to re-imagine the future of manned flight.”
Field test of the Gravity suit. Clip via Gravity Industries on YouTube
Inside the jet suit
Browning’s jet suit consists of 4 parts:
– Four gas turbine thrusters (One either side of each arm)
– Two Gravity-branded fire guards over the hands and forearm
– A leather jacket for protection (and obviously to look cool)
– And a DAQRI augmented reality helmet with a heads-up display showing speed and altitude of the flight.
As we learned last year in a preview of the suit by Tested’s Adam Savage, thruster housing on the latest generation of Browning’s jet suit has been 3D printed in aluminum to improve its light-weighting.
Speaking at the time of the housing’s development, Browning said, “I’m quite excited about that. We’ve fully CADed up a beautiful, organic inspired housing, and that’s being 3D printed now.”
In total, the burden of the suit on the wearer is 27kg.
A new-era jet plane?
Browning set up Gravity Industries in 2017 to help commercialize the jet suit and its potential uses. Now, Gravity offers jet suit experience days and training programs with Mission Impossible star Tom Cruise tipped as a possible customer.
At present Browning has realized a Guinness World Breaking speed of 32mph in the suit, though with commercial availability wealthy daredevils are likely to take a shot at a new world title.
A total of 9 custom-made suits are currently available through Selfridges complete with full flight training. As 3D printing is ideal for manufacturing bespoke and one-off pieces, we expect the technology could play an vital role in the production of these new suits.
Speaking to London’s Evening Standard Bosse Myhr, menswear and technology director at Selfridges commented:
“The Jet Suit is the equivalent to the launch of the very first aeroplane,”
“We are on the cusp of an era where aeronautical technology can finally be in the hands of the consumer and we are proud to be the first to offer this.”
3D printing – the invention technology
Other entrepreneurs harnessing the potential of 3D printing to realize wild ideas include Archie O’Brien, inventor of the CUDE underwater jetback, and RCA designer Jun Kamei with his Amphibio human gill concept.
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Featured image shows Richard Browning in the record-breaking jet suit. Photo via Gravity.co