Franky Zapata Fly-board Vs Browning’s jet suit Daedalus Mark 1
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Franky Zapata Fly-board Vs Browning’s jet suit Daedalus Mark 1

August 12, 2019


British Ironman and French flying man demonstrate
two different systems Franky Zapata Flyboard Vs Browning’s jet suit Daedalus Mark 1. One week after the French inventor Franky
Zapata failed to cross the Channel (sea sector between France and UK) with his Flyboard Air
(he will renew his attempt very soon), the British inventor, test pilot and former Royal
Marines reservist Richard Browning has tested his jet-powered bodysuit over the water for
the first time. Browning’s jet suit, named Daedalus Mark
1, uses six tiny jet engines — two mounted on the wearer’s back, with an additional
two mounted on each arm — which allow the user to fly through the air in a controlled
flight. The suit looks like something out of a Marvel movie: Browning jetted up and
down a street, aided by a helmet equipped with a head-up display that provides him with
some flight data and fuel usage, the same kind as Zapata’s one.
The first attempt performed by Browning has been successful. He had already demonstrated
the potential of his jet-powered suit to the Royal Marines, joined them for amphibious
landings and wowed the crowds at Yeovilton at the Fleet Air Arm’s annual show.
This time, a small landing/launchpad was set up on Dasher’s forecastle as he leapt between
the boat and two accompanying rib speed boats buzzing around the Solent off Portsmouth Harbour
at speeds of up to 20 knots. The trials proved that the suit works over a large body of water
and that the pilot can land and take-off with relative ease from boats or ships moving at
speed – even with the limited space on the upper deck of a P2000 patrol vessel (let’s
remind that Zapata failed to land on the moving boat where he had to take another backpack
full of kerosene to complete his Channel crossing; his Flyboard Air’s reliability wasn’t
in cause at all). “Being in command of Dasher while the Gravity Industries team were onboard
was very different and a new challenge which I was honoured to take on,” said Lieutenant
Lauren Webber. “Taking off and landing on the P2000 look so easy, despite the ship travelling
at 20 knots.” The rocket man himself said the work with
Dasher proved extremely successful and laid the foundations for further tests at sea from
some of the Royal Navy’s larger warships. “It was a pleasure testing our suit with
the Royal Navy, offering a unique opportunity to achieve another milestone in the development
of our technology,” Richard added. Franky Zapata’s Flyboard Air can lose one
engine and still continue the mission. If two engines quit, the Flyboard Air will make
a controlled descent. Independent engine electronics means any possible electronic failure can
only affect one engine at a time and the Flyboard Air can still safely fly. Quick-release boots
mean the pilot can quickly let the Flyboard Air go away in case of an emergency water
landing. There are triple-redundant flight controls: two wired systems, plus one wireless
backup system. The auto-hover mode allows the pilot to maintain a steady altitude without
having to manage the throttle. The embedded stabilization is independent of flight controls.
Isolated turbines with improved cooling and lubrication increase jet engine reliability
and lifetime. Each engine is independently supplied with kerosene. The status indications
provided via head-up display informs the pilot of the engine status, fuel levels, altitude
and speed. To conclude this overview of both systems,
let’s mention that the French one leaves the hands free, while the British one leaves
the feet free. Hence, different constraints in shaping their operational use.
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