Remember a couple years back when we were all blown away by Gravity Industries founder Richard Browning taking his turbine-powered Jet Suit for an 85-mph ride, and crushing his own Guinness World Record for “fastest speed in a body-controlled jet engine-powered suit”? Well, hold our beer World Record, cause this latest feat is even more jaw dropping.
In a scene that should bring consternation to anyone who previously felt safe and alone aboard a ship out at sea, chief test pilot Browning and his team just joined up with 42 commandos from the U.K.’s Royal Marines (per Mashable) to launch Gravity Jet Suit-ed daredevils from a high-speed rigid inflatable boat (RIB), and onto the HMS Tamar, an offshore patrol vessel of the Royal Navy.
Fellow Brit James Bond never had it so good.
Check out the stunning video below, capturing testing of the Jet Suit’s impressive capability to support Royal Marine maritime boarding ops off the south coast of the U.K.:
Obviously, jet-suitted flight doesn't just happen, and Gravity has documented how much work the test pilots have put into perfecting their craft. To be sure, the wild yet precise video above was shot after plenty of testing, not just with the Royal Navy, but also with the Netherlands Maritime Special Operations Force.
From a military standpoint, you can certainly see the advantages of being able to just hop from skiff to any point on a moving vessel, and then dropping a ladder for all your commando mates. Particularly since Gravity Industries notes that maritime boarding operations usually involve far more precarious operations like a RIB boat pulling up to a vessel and then gaining access by throwing a caving ladder up and over the side, or using a helicopter to board the vessel.
Of course, you can also see the advantages such a suit would pose for pirates. (In fact, we just pitched a pirates-in-jet-suits movie to a prominent Hollywood producer.)
The 3D-printed, body-controlled suit offers advantages in other arenas too. For example, Gravity has also worked with the U.K.'s Great North Air Ambulance Service to launch flying paramedics into search and rescue missions. Such a Jet Suit-ed medic would be able to plop down in areas that the smallest helicopter couldn’t, potentially getting help to those who need it far faster.
Granted, at this point, you’ve either got to have a military budget or be a heckuva good pirate to afford a Gravity Jet Suit, as they run about $430,000 a pop. But what’s a half million to Tony Stark, eh?