You Can Now Pilot a Gravity Flight Suit in VR

360° video experience puts you in a body-controlled jet engine-powered suit.

Human propulsion technology company Gravity has released a VR experience after its Co-Founder Richard Browning set the Guinness World Record for the fastest speed in a body-controlled jet engine-powered suit last month.

The record made headlines around the world and provided the footage for the first-person experience which incorporates 360-degree sound as well as video, and allows the user to experience what flying the jet suit feels like, for just under three minutes.

“We had a fantastic day with Guinness World Records, establishing the benchmark for flight speed, and took the opportunity to capture some incredible 360 degree footage to give an insight into the sheer adrenaline rush that is a 1,000 horsepower jet suit,” Browning said in an interview with VRScout after the event. “The final run also elegantly demonstrates that we’re not afraid of a safe failure in pursuit of pushing the limit!”

Richard Browning, founder and pilot at Gravity Industries Ltd, sets the Guinness World Record for ‘the fastest speed in a body-controlled jet engine power suit’, which is 32.02mph, at Lagoona Park in Reading.

The 360-degree audio-visual experience was made in partnership with VR agency Visualise, which fitted a multi-directional camera and microphone to Browning, and filmed as he set the Guinness World Record for the fastest speed in a body-controlled jet engine-powered suit, achieving a top speed of 32.02 miles per hour, over a lake in Reading, United Kingdom.

Browning said they’d had hundreds of request from fans and partners all over the world to capture a flight in 360 video, and they now plan to produce an entire series of VR experiences as part of a retail and brand partnership due to be launched in early 2018.

“We worked with Visualise to authentically capture the 360 audio/visual experience of what it feels like when I fly,” Browning said. “The end result when viewed in a headset is an extraordinary experience and the closest thing to actually flying the suit.”

Visualize Co-Founder Henry Stuart expressed his excitement at collaborating with Browning on this experience.

“Richard’s invention is like nothing we’ve ever seen before,” Stuart said. “This is one of the most exciting projects we’ve worked on, and being able to experience flight in this way is mind-blowing, it gives people the chance to experience it in a unique and immersive way.”

The British company is setting itself the ambitious mission to “re-imagine the future of manned flight,” and Browning said that their focus is on pushing the boundaries of what technology is capable on a global scale. 

“We believe VR is going to form a key part of how people experience what it feels like to fly our jet suit,” Browning said. “It is also an incredibly effective training tool we are using to teach people how to fly it. We wanted our first 360 video to be captured during an iconic flight so filming it whilst breaking the Guinness World record was the perfect opportunity. Content like this helps us reach out to people of all ages, to show the world what the future looks like, today.”

About the Scout

Alice Bonasio

Alice Bonasio runs the Tech Trends blog and contributes to Ars Technica, Quartz, Newsweek, The Next Web, and others. She is also writing VRgins, a book about sex and relationships in the virtual age. She lives in the UK.

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