A British company has been awarded what it claims is the world’s first patent for a “jet suit”.
Company founder Richard Browning said: “Since launching Gravity in 2017, we have not stopped challenging the status quo.
“Restlessly pioneering developments in STEM, today’s patent issuance is a giant milestone for Gravity which will enable us to continue to innovate and hopefully inspire others."
He said the firm now hoped to launch a racing series based on teams using the suit to navigate courses "which will see a new cohort of diverse pilots putting their flight skills to the test, competing in teams on courses around the world”.
The patent, issued by the UK’s Intellectual Property Office, covers: “A wearable flight system with a number of propulsion assemblies including a left-hand propulsion assembly and a right-hand propulsion assembly worn on a user’s hands and/or forearm.
“Preferably a body propulsion assembly is provided with support for a user’s waist or torso. Leg propulsion systems may also be provided.”
In documents that formed part of the patent claim, the company cited Marvel Studios’ Iron Man character and his use of a wearable flight system which utilises propulsion units worn on the hands.
The Jet Suit uses five gas turbines which collectively produce over 1,000 brake horsepower to gain flight, and can reach speeds of over 55mph.
The firm said it was already in “advanced discussions” with possible host cities, broadcasters and sponsors over launching its race series in the second half of 2019.