Marine fires up 1,000 horsepower engines before gliding at 30mph
World’s first flying soldier in action: Marine fires up 1,000 horsepower engines before gliding at 30mph and scaling an 8ft wall in jet pack
- Richard Browning, 39, flew across an assualt course on a rocket-fuelled suit
- He was congratulated by military top brass and other spectators at the course
- Demonstration took place at Commando Training Centre Royal Marines in Devon
Hovering six feet above the ground then effortlessly whizzing round a military assault course in a matter of seconds – this is Britain’s first flying soldier.
With two mini jet engines strapped to each arm, Richard Browning looks like comic superhero Iron Man but he is, in fact, a member of the elite Royal Marines.
Wearing the Corps’ famous green beret, Richard, 39, wowed an audience of top brass who assembled at a high-security training base to conduct a close-up assessment of his rocket-propelled flying suit.
Richard Browning (left and right), 39, wowed an audience of top brass at the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines at Lympstone, Devon, as flew across an assault course on a rocket-propelled flying suit
With two mini jet engines strapped to each arm, Mr Browning looked like comic superhero Iron Man
The Royal Marine lifted-off from a launch pad before gliding gracefully at 30mph to the start of an assault course
As they looked on, Richard fired up his 1,000 horsepower engines, causing a thunderous roar.
Stepping backwards from a launch pad on a trailer, he lifted-off before gliding gracefully at 30mph to the start of an assault course.
He then touched down in front of a water jump, sending up a huge plume of vapour before setting off again, effortlessly scaling an 8ft wall and gently landing on it to show how deftly he could control his flight.
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He then completed his remarkable flying display by zipping back up a hill towards the group of dignitaries, who spontaneously burst into applause as he hovered in front of them.
The demonstration last week took place at the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines at Lympstone, Devon, where Richard trained as a Marine recruit.
During the footage, he was spotted navigating himself over a wall as stunned spectators watched on
Mr Browning’s padded exoskeleton suit incorporates five kerosene-fuelled micro-turbine engines
After completing his remarkable flying display he was congratulated by military top brass
His display allowed defence chiefs to assess various military uses for the revolutionary device that Richard himself invented.
Last night, in an exclusive interview, Royal Marines reservist Richard said it could be used for Special Forces operations.
He said: ‘If you wish to move Special Forces troops around nimbly, especially over water, this is a good capability. There’s also potential for evacuating people or moving soldiers into or out of difficult situations, for example if you need to land a soldier on the deck of a ship.
‘It’s kind of obvious that there’s potential for a military application and that is what the Royal Marines would be interested in. The demonstration made very clear what the suit is capable of.’
The 40-year-old father-of-two from Salisbury, Wiltshire, has also received offers of interest from US Special Forces for his flying suit, which he invented after giving up his day job as a commodities broker for BP.
He is tweaking the machinery in order to extend the flying time of between four to nine minutes depending on how fast he goes, and its top speed, which is 32mph.
The suit resembles the one worn by Hollywood star Robert Downey Jr as Marvel film superhero Iron Man.
Weighing just 59lbs, it is powered by five miniature jet engines, one on the flier’s back and two on each arm. The electronic technology that controls the engines is contained inside padded material on the wearer’s chest.
Richard also carries a fuel tank and usually wears a helmet which contains a holographic display system giving him information about his speed and position in the air, again just like Iron Man.
The suit is fireproof and padded to offer protection should he fall to earth.
Richard controls his speed and direction of flight simply by moving his arms a few inches, a method which has taken a lot of practice.
He said: ‘This is an entirely different way of manoeuvring a human through the sky. Trying to control the thrust with each arm is really hard. It is like riding a bike – you fall off a lot at first.’
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