Exclusive Interview with Richard Browning: Founder and Chief Test Pilot of Gravity Industries
Richard Browning is a British born engineer, inventor and world record holder of the fastest Jet Suit.
Browning founded the now multi-million-dollar organisation, Gravity Industries, after a 16-year corporate career as a trader in the city of London. The company was founded to challenge the perceived boundaries in human aviation and ask, “What if?”.
Richard Browning and his team created the £340,000 Jet Suit in two and a half years of trial and error to create. The Jet Suit uses Jet Fuel as a fuel to power five gas turbines attached to a light exoskeleton suit.
The wearer can accelerate to reach an excess of 50 mph and is technically capable of reaching an altitude of 12,000ft. Gravity Industries is now setting its sights on an International Race Series on its pioneering journey to develop a new era of human flight.
What inspired you to undertake the challenge of creating an Jet Suit?
I do genuinely, the pure joy of the challenge. Would it really be possible to reimagine human flight in an entirely new raw authentic way? It is too exciting to not go after it.
What are some of the biggest challenges that you are faced in your journey to flying?
The biggest challenge was starting with a blank piece of paper and trying to work out how to connect the required thrust to the human body in a way that would be intuitive and balanced and yet not look unwieldly and heavy and not uncontrollable.
With sustainability at the forefront of our energy use, how environmentally friendly is the suit and can it be made more eco-friendly?
We have the facility to run the suit on bio-diesel.
What does the future of personal transport look like to you?
It is a huge area and there are a lot of amazing evolutions going on all over the world, we not do not think flying 1000hp Jet Suit will be a major challenge to the automotive or car industry anytime soon, but could well be the early stepping stone to a whole new era of human mobility.
What sort of projects do you foresee Gravity Industries working on in 10 years’ time?
It is hard to even predict the next 6 months with the pace of development we have (wings, electric suit etc) who knows! All we know is it is going to be even more incredible than the past 2 years.
What advice do you have for any aspiring inventors in today’s world?
Have an idea, identity how you can quickly test your idea using adapted existing products or available materials and as long as it is safe learn from your failures.
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