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Dubai's Inaugural Jet Suit Race: Pilots Become Flying Marvels in Iconic Skyscraper Backdrop

Dubai hosted its first-ever jet suit race, with pilots controlling jet engines strapped to their hands and backs. The event drew comparisons to the fictional character Iron Man. Gravity Industries, the company behind the jet suits, fulfilled the dream of flying and brought it closer to reality.

Dubai, known for its towering skyscrapers and ambitious projects, has taken its sky-high aspirations to new heights by hosting its first-ever jet suit race. Pilots lined up on a runway in the United Arab Emirates city-state, firing up their seven jet engines with a deafening roar. But these pilots weren't preparing to fly an airplane - they were the aircraft themselves.


The race took place against the backdrop of Dubai Marina's iconic skyscrapers, with racers zooming along a designated route, controlling the jet engines strapped to their hands and backs. The event drew comparisons to the fictional character Iron Man, popularised by actor Robert Downey Jr. in the Marvel comic book series.


Richard Browning, the founder and chief test pilot for Gravity Industries, the company behind the jet suits, described the experience as fulfilling the dream of flying and going wherever the mind takes you. He acknowledged the influence of Marvel superheroes and DC Comics in creating the concept of flying, but emphasised that their jet suits bring that dream closer to reality.


Gravity Industries gained global attention when it equipped a jet suit on a U.K. Royal Marine who successfully landed on a ship at sea. Since then, they have explored various military applications for the suits before partnering with the Dubai Sports Council to organize the race.


The pilots participating in the race wore jet suits with an impressive 1,500-horsepower, making them more powerful than most luxury sports cars. These suits use the same type of fuel as Dubai-based long-haul carrier Emirates' Airbus A380s and Boeing 777 aircraft. The pilots lined up on a runway used by Skydive Dubai, with parachutists descending from the sky as they prepared their jet packs.


As the engines roared, the pilots jumped and leaned forward, taking off like helicopters. They maneuvered around obstacles in a water channel near the race site, reaching speeds of up to 80 mph (128 kph). Despite a couple of mid-air collisions, the pilots remained airborne, leaving the crowd in awe of their skills.


Dubai, already known for its fascination with flight and hosting the world's busiest airport for international travel, has been exploring the concept of flying taxis for years. The city has also become an adventure capital, with attractions like zip lines over Dubai Marina and downtown. However, there are risks involved, as demonstrated by the tragic death of Vincent Reffet, one of Dubai's original "Jetmen," during a training crash in 2020.


Despite the risks, the jet suit race in Dubai showcased the thrill and excitement of human flight. Spectators marveled at the sight of pilots soaring through the sky, likening it to a real-life Iron Man experience. The event left many eager to try out the jet suits themselves and witness the next-level technology in action.

 
  • Dubai hosted its first-ever jet suit race, with pilots controlling jet engines strapped to their hands and backs.

  • The event drew comparisons to the fictional character Iron Man.

  • Gravity Industries, the company behind the jet suits, fulfilled the dream of flying and brought it closer to reality.


Source: AP NEWS


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