Real-life Iron Man flies in Jet Suit at Henley College – FE News

The engineering students had an unusual Thursday afternoon when Richard Browning of Gravity Industries visited to give them a special demonstration of his pioneering Jet Suit.

Students flocked to the college’s rugby pitches to watch Richard in action, and they weren’t disappointed. Walking towards the center of the field, Richard fired up the engines and jumped into the air. Staff and students were given earplugs to protect them from the roaring noise of the engines, and as Richard drove past everyone was blown away, literally, by the force of the jets.

After flying around the grounds, Richard made his descent and screams and cheers could finally be heard over the dying engines, and everyone felt like they had seen something really exciting.

Richard is passionate about bringing STEM topics to light and inspiring young people. After his flight, he therefore spoke about his work to students studying for the Extended Level 3 Engineering Degree.

The former oil trader and Royal Marine began testing early versions of the engines in 2016 and, after much trial and error, launched Gravity Industries the following year. Since then, Richard and his team have traveled the world and caught the attention of high profile business leaders such as Richard Branson, Tim Draper, an early investor in Tesla and Skype, and Adam Draper, the founder of Boost CV.

Richard’s main advice to engineering students was to think about reputation, financial impact and safety – if your idea or design embarrasses you, puts you out of business or puts your physical well-being at risk, then do not do it. But he also reminded students that all new creations come from breaking the rules and wondering “what’s the worst that can happen” by bringing your “crazy, childish idea” to life.

Director of Engineering, Noel Wood, who organized Gravity Industries’ visit to the College, said:

“Richard was inspirational in both the presentation of his Jet Suit and the lecture he gave to the students afterwards. Resilience is a key attribute in today’s world and Richard showed to students the amazing possibilities that can be realized if you keep trying. Richard is a true trailblazer, and our students will no doubt remember his visit for the rest of their lives, and I know it will inspire them in their future careers. of engineer.

Current Level 3 Engineering student James Palmer said:

“Having someone whose work I saw on social media visit the College was really great. I really appreciate being able to learn new skills in my engineering course, and it helps me improve my ideas. I want to work in robotics and exploration technology in the future, so having the chance to meet Richard and see the Jet Suit in action was fantastic.

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