Richard Browning’s first lift-off took place in November 2016. With six jet engines strapped to his arms and ankles, Browning managed to fly across his courtyard in Salisbury for approximately six seconds.
It was his first successful lift-off after many failed attempts. “It took a huge amount of perseverance, a lot of hours, and a lot of persistence to cling to the vision that I had,” Browning says. His vision? To build a jetpack. This was something that, according to Browning, conventional wisdom suggested would be too difficult and expensive, but Browning persisted: “I’m not really put off by the setbacks.” Since then, he has repeated the stunt thousands of times, in more than 30 different countries, breaking Guinness World Records. After achieving the seemingly impossible, Browning is now also inspiring a new generation of entrepreneurs, inventors and creatives as part of The Art of Drive.
Browning also launched jetpack start-up Gravity Industries, as its CEO and chief test pilot. While the core of the business still revolves around entertainment, performing demonstrations in different locations around the world, Gravity Industries is also working to improve the mobility of paramedics and special forces, especially in emergency situations where deploying a jetpack can help rescuers access hard-to-reach locations quickly. “Where a person is in cardiac arrest or if they’re bleeding badly, you can genuinely save lives,” says Browning.