The first iPhone, the Domino’s Pizza mobile pizza tracker, hoverboards. Some innovations make us want to raise our hands skyward and proclaim, “Thank you, God, for allowing us to live in this Golden Age of Technology.” Finally, personal jetpacks are within reach, and it appears all of our boyhood dreams are coming come true.
The Jet Suit from Gravity Industries (code name: “Daedalus”) is the closest thing we’ve seen to a legit Tony Stark-worthy Iron Man suit. Sure, it lacks the sleek, everything-clicks-into-place-on-its-own panache. But, it does boast a gut-punching 1,050 horsepower (incidentally, that’s more than the forthcoming Lamborghini Aventador) pushed through five kerosene-powered turbine engines — one on the pilot’s back and two on each arm. That’s enough thrust to propel almost any rider more than 30 miles per hour and up to 12,000 feet in the air (although the latter isn’t recommended). The fuel is only good for a four-minute ride, but that’s more than enough time to accidentally kill yourself.
The suit is the brainchild of British inventor Richard Browning, who summed up his project as “an entirely pure form of complete three-dimensional freedom.” That’s one way to look at it.
Browning sees potential in Daedalus as a legitimate future transportation option for commuters. However, in an interview with NBC News MACH, he was careful to note, “Just like the first motor cars, which were noisy, smelly and inefficient …we have some way to go before you could commute by jet suit.” In an age where most commuters still haven’t mastered not driving while Instagramming, can you imagine your morning rush hour commute full of half-trained jetpack riders?
We’ve covered plenty of sky-riding tech toys before, most of which come from the lunatic garage of Zapata. The brand brought us the Flyboard. Then, there was this insane hydro jetpack and a Silver Surfer-inspired Hoverboard. While these are awesome (and affordable for the everyman), they require the rider to be tethered to a Jetski. How the hell are you supposed to fight crime and crash the Super Bowl Halftime Show while you’re attached to a Jetski?
The best part is that this isn’t just a prototype. No, you can snag your very own Iron Man-style jetpack for the low, low price of $447,000. Act fast though, as only nine are available for sale, and you’ll have to hit up London’s Selfridges department store for yours. If that’s too rich for your blood, you can get a taste of the experience at Gravity Industries’ own private hangar outside London for far less.