Real-Life ‘Iron Man’ Confirmed to Fly at the Farnborough International Airshow

From the jet engine through to the designs for the Concorde, Farnborough is the home of pioneering spirit and this July’s Farnborough International Airshow will honour the town’s heritage by featuring the next leap in aviation progress: the man who defies gravity.

Real-life ‘Iron Man’, Richard Browning, will fly - using more horsepower than a Formula 1 car - above the runway at the Airshow on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 July 2018.  

Wearing the specially designed, lightweight Gravity Jet Suit, Richard is pioneering a new era of human flight.

The £250,000 Gravity Jet Suit is in effect, a miniature Harrier aircraft. Small jet engines are mounted on each arm and behind the back. The suit can produce 144KG of thrust to achieve vertical take-off and flight. Using his body as the airframe, Richard’s arms control speed, thrust and direction.

Richard Browning, Founder and Chief Test Pilot, Gravity Industries, says: "We are delighted to be demonstrating the Gravity Jet Suit at the Farnborough International Airshow in July this year. Alongside other leading industry pioneers, Gravity will be shining a light on a whole new era of aviation now made possible."

Former City oil trader, entrepreneur and Royal Marine Reservist, Richard Browning founded Gravity Industries in April 2017. Since then the company has grown rapidly as has the patent pending Jet Suit capability. Last November he entered the Guinness World Records books for the fastest speed in a body controlled jet engine powered suit.

Group Marketing Director for Farnborough International, Andrew Pearcey says: “All aspects of flight are celebrated at the Farnborough Airshow. Richard’s incredible invention is a glimpse into the future and we hope our visitors will feel incredibly excited watching him defy gravity and fly.

“If Samuel Cody were around today I’m sure he’d be thrilled to see Richard pushing the boundaries of physics and aeronautical engineering on the very airfield on which he developed powered flight.” 

Around 80,000 people are expected to attend this July’s Airshow, which is set to be the most exciting yet. The Blades, one of the world’s most exhilarating aerobatic flying display teams, have been announced as a headline act. 

Founded by ex-Red Arrows pilots, the fast-paced and dynamic Blades team will dominate the sky with a bespoke, close-formation aerobatic display that has been designed especially for the Farnborough Airshow. It is set to feature never-seen-before manoeuvres by the team, including a high velocity solo display and heart-stopping head-to-head flying.

The BBC’s The One Show presenter Angelica Bell and her husband TV presenter Michael Underwood are returning as hosts of Airshow Live for the third time. With cameras at the heart of the flying display, Airshow Live captures all of the action and broadcasts on big screens throughout the site along with a great mix of interviews, activities and show reports.

Other show highlights include:

  • Winchester Science Centre is bringing a range of interactive exhibits, live shows and their mobile planetarium for a trip across the galaxy.
  • A dedicated Space Zone revealing even more about the solar system.
  • Brooklands Museum Pavilion will be running a range of activities as well as showcasing a selection of vintage aircraft.
  • The Futures and Innovation Zone is an opportunity to be inspired by innovative technology, and learn about the careers and opportunities available in aerospace.
  • Children aged 15 and under are admitted free when accompanied by an adult.

A major focus for the Farnborough Airshow is engaging the next generation. Few other industries can match aerospace for technological development and on Friday 20 July, the Airshow opens for Futures Day, inviting groups from universities, schools and colleges to visit free, meet the experts and understand how STEM subjects are used by industry.

To celebrate the centenary of the RAF, the RAF 100 is the show’s official charity partner.