A quite interesting and somehow weird demo took place on Nov. 21, 2019, on board HMS Queen Elizabeth, hosting the 2019 Atlantic Future Forum (AFF) at anchor off Annapolis, Washington D.C., during UK's largest aircraft carrier's deployment to the US.
Ex-Royal Marines Reservist Richard Browning flew with a jet-powered flying suit from the aircraft carrier and welcomed journalists on a boat carrying journalists before returning to the landing platform adjacent HMSQE.
A video of the demo was shared on the Instagram account of Gravity Industries, a British aeronautical innovation company founded by the former Royal Marines reservist.
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The view from the yacht is also pretty impressive. Take a look at it:
So this is a thing that can happen pic.twitter.com/tJAjgb70dA— Bradley Peniston (@navybook) November 21, 2019
The Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy are currently involved in the Westlant 19 cruise off the East Coast of the United States to test the F-35B in an operational environment aboard the HMS Queen Elizabeth. After the initial carrier qualification during daylight, the pilots are now undergoing the night carrier qualification process.
Now this is the way to travel to work! What a fantastic viewpoint of the ship - what you can’t see is the queue of excited matelots wanting to have a go! From one type of jet #UKF35 to another @takeonGravity #WESTLANT19 pic.twitter.com/wByj3lXH6D— HMS Queen Elizabeth (@HMSQNLZ) November 21, 2019
The demo was conducted during the AFF 2019 event, a full day conference "bringing together the brightest minds and most influential thinkers-from defence and beyond-to strengthen the US-UK special relationship and encourage collaboration between the public and private sector."
Browning is not the only one to fly around with a sort-of jet pack. In July 2019, during Bastille Day festivities in Paris, inventor and jet skier Franky Zapata flew a hoverboard in front of French President Emmanuel Macron. Zapata carried a rifle during his demo over French military forces parading down the Champs-Élysées.
Fier de notre armée, moderne et innovante. pic.twitter.com/DQvIfPolQf— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) July 14, 2019
While a bunch of very well-known engineering, handling, operational and safety issues that have prevented conventional jetpacks from becoming more than sideshow novelties, Zapata's Flyboard is, at least more openly than Browning's Gravity until today, believed to have potential combat applications, in France and in the United States.
This article originally appeared on The Aviationist. Follow @theaviationist on Twitter.
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