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The DIY Iron Man Is About to Take Flight

Last year, a 38-year-old former British Royal Marine named Richard M. Browning bought a jet engine, attached it to an old washing machine and cranked the throttle to full capacity.

The washing machine did a complete flip in the air.

“At that point, I was fairly convinced we had something worth playing with,” Browning said in a Red Bull video from last week.

Next, he ditched the washing machine and tried it out on himself—strapping six jet engines to his arms. He was confident enough in the results that on Friday he announced the formation of a new startup, Gravity, to build “an entirely new generation of human flight systems for commercial, military and entertainment applications through human propulsion technology that reimagines manned flight.”

“The suit can fly in most locations,” Browning told RedBull.com. “Despite being capable of flying at several hundred miles per hour, and at thousands of feet, normal operation sees the wearer flying at no more than a couple of metres.”

For now, though, Browning is still working on his suit: Test flights, tweaking and integrating improvements.

“We’re a long way away at the moment,” Browning told Wired. “But one day you’ll literally be able to walk around in your garden, take off, fly about, then come down low and land.”

Ideally while repeating, “I am Iron Man”: