IIT-Bombay’s Techfest to exhibit jet-powered suit by British inventor
The Daedalus Mark 1 is a jet suit – nicknamed the Iron Man suit after the Marvel superhero – enables the pilot to fly and hover. It is designed by British inventor Richard Browning, founder and chief test pilot for Gravity IndustriesUpdated: Oct 30, 2020, 21:37 IST
Jet-powered suits that can enable humans to fly without the use of an aircraft was on display on Friday evening as a part of Techfest, the annual science and technology festival of the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B).
The Daedalus Mark 1 is a jet suit – nicknamed the Iron Man suit after the Marvel superhero – enables the pilot to fly and hover. It is designed by British inventor Richard Browning, founder and chief test pilot for Gravity Industries.
A live exhibition of the suit will be available on the official YouTube channel of Techfest from Friday, 6pm. This year, the festival, which draws thousands of students and inventors from across the globe, is being held online given the Covid-19 pandemic.
In its 24th year, Techfest is hosting all exhibitions virtually on its YouTube channel, which can be accessed by anybody at any time in the future.
The Daedalus Mark 1 uses cutting-edge technology that reimagines human flight, forging an elegant partnership between mind, body and machine, said the Techfest committee, in a statement.
Browning said that recently Gravity Industries was able to complete a trial run for the use of jetsuits by paramedics to access casualties. “I pretended to be a paramedic and the goal was to access a casualty halfway up a mountain. I could get there in 90 seconds when it took 25 minutes to walk there,” said Browning in an online interaction.
He said the idea is to enable paramedics to reach a casualty fast to administer critical treatment until medical help arrives.
At present, the jet suit, which is patented, can fly at speeds in excess of 130kmph and is capable of reaching an altitude of 12,000ft. Five gas turbines are attached to the jet suit that can produce a brake horsepower of over 1,050. The vectored thrust through arm controls provides highly-precise ability to manoeuvre, even in gusty wind conditions. This enables the pilot to launch and land anywhere.
Each gas turbine propulsion assembly generates approximately 175 horsepower, collectively providing 800 pounds-force (N) maximum thrust on the hand propulsions.
Additionally, the body propulsion system provides 400N thrust, enabling the jet suit to augment the body’s natural balance and manoeuvrability to allow vertical lift and ultimately human propulsion (VTOL technology). It runs on jet fuel and premium diesel.
Browning encouraged students to tinker with their ideas and build or create something of their own. “It is very important to stay curious and think like a child,” Browning added.