Honda and the Man Who Learnt to Fly

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Honda loves a project, and this Brit who’s developing a way to fly around Iron Man-style may be onto something.

Automobiles, outboard motors, electric generators, jet engines, airplanes, robotics, garden equipment… The list of what Honda makes goes on. The list of futuristic concepts Honda has supported or researched themselves is also long and deep, although our most recent favorite is their self-balancing motorcycle. However, this time, Honda is getting behind Richard Browning of Gravity Industries and his project to develop personal flying equipment.

Honda jetpack - man who learned to fly.

In this video published on the Honda YouTube channel, they follow Browning from his early experiments through to some hair-raising flights. To film the test flights, they use a Honda Civic Type R because, well, you would wouldn’t you? If a guy is going to strap a jet pack on then control his flight using gas turbine gloves, then you want something fast and agile to catch his flights. Or even to get out of the way if things go horribly wrong.


ALSO SEE: Honda Civic Type R Track Tested


Describing it as strapping on a jet pack on then controlling his flight using turbine gloves may sound a little dismissive. But, Bolton himself explained that, “My approach to flight was why not augment the human mind and body, because they are amazing machines, so I just bolted on what was missing: Thrust.” It may be absurdly simplistic, but it’s worth remembering that the very first pioneers of flight broke their approach down to putting wings on something and aiming to go fast enough that they would create lift.

Honda hasn’t said anything about manufacturing Browning’s invention yet, but Bolton intends to pursue his “human propulsion technology start-up” and sell them for around $300,000 each. He doesn’t see his project as a mainstream method of transportation, however, and inevitably, he’s gained interest from investors and the military.

It may not become mainstream, but maybe we will finally get a chance to fly around wearing those damn jet packs TV shows promised us as kids that we would be wearing in the future.

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