Become an Avenger with this real life Iron Man suit [Sticky or Not]

"Sometimes you gotta run before you can walk"

Iron Man Avengers: Infinity War

Given that Robert Downey Jr.’s future as Iron Man is looking uncertain after next year’s Avengers: Infinity War sequel, there’s going to be a need for someone to take over as the Armoured Avenger.

With British startup Gravity Industries‘ jet suit, you might be able to do just that.

Using 3D printer technology and five micro-jet engines, Gravity Industries has been able to create an apparatus that can fly using jet fuel or diesel.

Aesthetically, Gravity Industries’ suit is rather utilitarian, looking less like a sleek red-and-gold suit of armour and more like the work-in-progress flight gear Tony Stark first used in his Malibu home.

In terms of function, however, it’s definitely got some Iron Man-esque oomph to it.

The suit is capable of flying as high as 12,000 feet (3,658 metres) at speeds of nearly 32 miles per hour (about 52 km/h), although Gravity Industries currently only flies close to the ground for safety reasons. Flight can also only last for three to four minutes, or nearly ten in colder temperatures.

Interestingly, though, Gravity Industries founder Richard Browning said he wasn’t actually inspired by any of Iron Man’s iconic suits, instead looking to continue his late father’s legacy as a flight innovator (not unlike Tony Stark himself). In spite of that, members of the Marvel films visual effects teams reached out to Browning to tell him how impressed they were with the similarities between the suits.

Instead of borrowing from Iron Man, Browning said he’s always imagined a more recreational application for the suit down the line, citing an example of users being able to fly up and down a coastline along a beach.

Currently, Gravity Industries’ suit is only available in a London, England department store at the steep cost of 340,000 pounds (approximately $569,588 CAD). However, the company is working to make the technology more refined and available to wider commercial audiences around the world.

Verdict: Sticky

The diehard Marvel fan in me is absolutely fascinated by what Gravity Industries has done.

Of course, any early form of powerful technology will initially be costly and a little rough around the edges. In this case, that makes it inaccessible to anyone who doesn’t actually have Tony Stark kind of dough or brains.

Nonetheless, Gravity Industries’ flight suit is as a remarkable concept that offers a great starting point for future iterations. Moreover, Browning’s passion is quite palpable in the various TED Talks and interviews he’s done over the past several months, making me eager to see where he goes next with his vision.

After all, Tony Stark never stopped at just one suit.

Note: This post is part of an ongoing series titled Sticky or Not in which staff reporter Bradly Shankar analyzes new and often bizarre gadgets, rating them sticky (good) or not (bad).