At 7 am on a chilly November morning, Rina and I made our way down to Brighton pier to witness a world record attempt. It was Guinness World Record day, and everybody was ready to watch history unfold! Labelled as ‘the real life Iron Man’, inventor Richard Browning and his Avengers style get up were geared up to break the world record (currently held by himself) of the fastest speed travelled in a jet suit. The standing record was made in 2017, at Lagoon Park, when Browning propelled 32.02 mph across the Reading lake. Now, another 2 years, as well as a new and improved suit later, Browning set out to double the record at the seaside town.
With members of the public gathering to view what commotion could bring a crowd to the shore of Brighton beach so early in the morning, (one of the many rumours included a whale spotting!) the scene was set and ready for a spectacular event. After all, it’s not every day that you see a man with a jet pack suit flying the length of the pier on your morning commute! As for the weather, the constant rain that Brighton had seen over the past few weeks had luckily seemed to scatter, creating (somewhat) clear conditions for the stunt, even if it was freezing!
After a series of successful test flights - whereby the inventor was accompanied by two other ‘iron men’ either side of him – it was time to go for the record. With members of the public gathered and the tide quickly coming in, Browning set off from the onshore launch pad. With sparks beginning to fly and the sound of the jet suit booming, Richard launched from the beach to travel the length of the pier. The famous landmark made for a stunning backdrop, and the inventor went on to smash his previous record by achieving a speed of 85.06 mph! With the world record shattered, Browning flew back to the beach – hovering for a moment before landing – as a new world record holder.
It was a fantastic morning, and an even more fantastic way to celebrate Guinness World Record Day 2019. For more peculiar, daring and amazing world records, the 2020 Guinness World Record annual is available to purchase here now!
Or do you fancy having a go at man powered flight yourself? For a period, a 3D printed ‘Iron Man’ suit could be bought in the Technology Hall of Selfridges, and it set customers back a whopping £340,000.00. The suit features 5 kerosene-fuelled micro gas turbines (one at the back and two on each arm) and is controlled entirely by body movement. Although it’s currently out of stock, perhaps it is something to add to the Christmas wish list? You can read more about the bespoke suit, and the flying training (including a tour of the Human Propulsion Laboratory!) here.
You can visit our Facebook page here to see a full video of the day.
Thank you to Guinness Records for an amazing and memorable morning that we surely won't forget anytime soon!