Richard Browning (inventor)

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Richard Browning
Richard Browning.jpg
Browning in 2019
EducationQueen's College, Taunton, Somerset
(Independent boarding school)
Alma materCardiff University
Years active2017-present
Known forDaedalus Flight Pack

Richard Browning is a British inventor of a "jet suit". He is the founder and chief test pilot of Gravity Industries, a company that designs and builds his invention, the Daedalus Flight Pack.


Browning was educated at Queen's College, a boarding and day independent school for boys (now co-educational) in the county town of Taunton in Somerset, followed by Cardiff University, where he initially studied Engineering and then, after one Semester, switched to Exploration Geology.[1]


Browning set out in 2016 to experiment with the concept “using the human mind to balance and control the body in flight structure”, adding power in the form of micro gas turbines (jet engines). His development journey, culminating in the first flight in November 2016, was the subject of a 2017 TED talk and the “Taking on Gravity” publication.

Browning received initial investment and launched the company Gravity Industries in April 2017 together with WIRED magazine and Red Bull. Public demonstrations of the invention included over 100 flight events across 33 countries. He was referred to as a "real-life Iron Man” by several media outlets.[2][3][4]

TIME magazine featured the jet suit as amongst the best inventions of 2018.[5]

Gravity Industries was recognized by Guinness World Record for the fastest flight in a body-controlled jet suit in November 2019 at 85 mph (135kmph).[6]

Gravity Industries received a $640,000 investment from Tim and Adam Draper in San Francisco after the first public demonstration outside Adam’s ‘Boost VC’ firm.[7][8]

Gravity Industries is now a permanent team of seven based in Salisbury, UK and has a support network around the world. The company business model includes TV & media work, commercial events & displays, brand collaborations, STEM initiatives, and public flight training & flight experiences in the UK and US. Gravity also has a wide range of partnerships with the UK, the US and European militaries,[9] and a range of search & rescue organizations.[10]

The company was planning to launch the Gravity Race Series in March 2020 in Bermuda, but this was postponed due to COVID.

Gravity's jet suit was named the Daedalus suit, a name chosen by Browning's son when he was aged eight, in reference to Daedalus of Greek mythology,[11] although as of 2022 the name is not used on the company's website.[12]

Personal life[edit]

Prior to founding Gravity, Browning was a Royal Marines reservist[13] for 6 years and an oil trader with British Petroleum for 16 years. He is married and has 2 children.

Selected publications[edit]

  • Taking on Gravity: A Guide to Inventing the Impossible from the Man Who Learned to Fly (2021, Bantam: ISBN 978-1787630895)


  1. ^ Ben Machell (24 April 2021). "Richard Browning built a jet suit in his shed – and now Tom Cruise wants one". The Times. Retrieved 20 November 2021.
  2. ^ Manthorpe, Rowland. "The real-life Iron Man: watch inventor Richard Browning 'fly' in his jet-powered suit". WIRED UK. Retrieved 5 June 2017.
  3. ^ Gibbs, Samuel (28 April 2017). "Britain's Iron Man: inventor takes flight in jet-powered suit". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 5 June 2017.
  4. ^ "The Real-Life Iron Man Suit". Time. Retrieved 22 February 2021.
  5. ^ "The Real-Life Iron Man Suit". Time. Retrieved 14 February 2021.
  6. ^ "Fastest speed in a body controlled jet engine powered suit". Guinness World Records. Retrieved 22 February 2021.
  7. ^ Ioannou, Lori (20 December 2020). "Telsa VC investor Tim Draper bets jetpack suits and flying motorcycles are the next frontier in human flight". CNBC. Retrieved 14 February 2021.
  8. ^ Borpuzari, Pranbihanga. "Tesla investor Tim Draper bets $650,000 on real-life Iron Man suit startup". The Economic Times. Retrieved 14 February 2021.
  9. ^ "Record-Breaking 'Rocket Man' Flies Off HMS Queen Elizabeth". Forces Network. 21 November 2019. Retrieved 14 February 2021.
  10. ^ "Inventor Richard Browning Tests Jet Suit For Paramedics". InsideHook. Retrieved 14 February 2021.
  11. ^ Cave, Rob (30 April 2017). "Real-Life Tony Stark Demonstrates His Iron Man Suit". CBR. Retrieved 27 March 2022.
  12. ^ "Gravity Industries". Gravity Industries. Retrieved 27 March 2022.
  13. ^ "Ex-Royal Marine Flies 'Real Life Iron Man' Suit". Forces Network. Retrieved 5 June 2017.

External links[edit]