TED 2017: UK ‘Iron Man’ demonstrates flying suit

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Bret Hartman/Ted

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Richard Browning took off beside the spectacular Vancouver harbour

A British inventor, who built an Iron Man-style flight suit, has flown it at the Ted (Technology, Entertainment and Design) conference in Vancouver.

Richard Browning’s short flight took place outside the Vancouver Convention Centre in front of a large crowd.

Since he posted the video of his maiden flight in the UK, Mr Browning has had huge interest in his flying suit.

But he insists the project remains “a bit of fun” and is unlikely to become a mainstream method of transportation.

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Media captionWATCH: ‘Rocket man’ tests his flying suit

He was inspired by his father, an aeronautical engineer and inventor, who killed himself when Mr Browning was a teenager.

He told the BBC that he always had a passion for making things and loved a challenge.

“I did this entirely for the same reason that you might look at a mountain and decide to climb it – for the journey and the challenge.”

He said he was also fascinated by the idea of human flight.

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Richard Browning

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Richard Browning practised his flights in Wiltshire in the UK

“My approach to flight was why not augment the human mind and body, because they are amazing machines, so I just bolted on what was missing – thrust.”

Mr Browning, a Royal Marine Reserve, created his flying machine using six miniature jet engines and a specially designed exoskeleton.

He has a helmet with a sophisticated heads-up display that keeps him informed about fuel use.

The Daedalus suit – named after the father of Icarus by Mr Browning’s eight-year-old son – takes off vertically. Mr Browning uses his arms to control the direction and speed of the flight.

Mr Browning said it is easily capable of flying at 200mph (321km/h) and an altitude of a few thousand feet.

But, for safety reasons, he keeps the altitude and speed low.

He insisted it is “safer than a motorbike”.

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Bret Hartman/Ted

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Mr Browning keeps his flights short and low to ground even though he could fly much higher

The suit can currently fly uninterrupted for around 10 minutes.

The start-up he founded, Gravity, is working on new technology for the device which Mr Browning said will make the current…

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