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New Sport, World’s First Ever Jet Suit Race In Dubai

In a spectacle that seemed straight out of a superhero blockbuster, Dubai witnessed a groundbreaking event that pushed the boundaries of innovation and human capability: the world’s first Jet Suit Race. Against the backdrop of Dubai’s futuristic skyline, eight pilots donned jet suits reminiscent of Marvel’s “Iron Man” and soared through the skies in a display of exhilarating competition.

Organized by the Dubai Sports Council in collaboration with Gravity Industries, the manufacturer of the jet suit, the Jet Suit Race Series marked a significant leap forward in the realm of extreme sports. Richard Browning, the visionary behind Gravity Industries and chief test pilot, described the event as a thrilling foray into three-dimensional racing, with pilots navigating through a challenging one-kilometer course peppered with giant inflatable obstacles.

Unlike traditional racing, where competitors are confined to a two-dimensional plane, jet-suit racing introduces a new dimension of excitement and complexity. Browning remarked on the sheer exhilaration of the experience, emphasizing the unpredictable nature of racing amidst the skyscrapers and super yachts of Dubai’s urban landscape.

The jet suits themselves are marvels of engineering, blending advanced technology with sheer power. Gravity’s jet suits incorporate a combination of engines, including a large one on the back and micro jet engines on each arm, all housed within a lightweight yet durable suit crafted from 3D-printed polymer, aluminum, and titanium. With the capability to generate 1,700 horsepower, Browning likened the jet suit’s power to that of a Bugatti Veyron sports car compacted into a backpack weighing a mere 30 kilograms.

Controlling the jet suit is a feat of skill and precision, with pilots adjusting their flight path by manipulating the direction of their arms. From ascending by pointing their arms downward to descending by lifting their arms sideways, pilots must master intuitive movements to navigate the skies at speeds reaching up to 136 kilometers per hour.

Despite the adrenaline-fueled excitement of jet-suit racing, safety remains a paramount concern. Gravity Industries prioritizes safety protocols, conducting flights over water or grass to mitigate risks associated with low-altitude flying. While crashes are compared to falling off a motorcycle, the choice of flying over water adds a dramatic flair to the spectacle while ensuring the well-being of pilots.

The inaugural Jet Suit Race Series showcased the diverse talent and daring spirit of its participants. Issa Kalfon, Gravity’s deputy head of flight training and a former professional gymnast, clinched first place in the event, demonstrating exceptional skill and precision in the skies. Notably, Ahmed Al Shehhi, representing the UAE, showcased remarkable adaptability despite limited training, underscoring the accessibility of jet-suit technology to aspiring pilots.

Beyond its entertainment value, the Jet Suit Race Series serves as a testament to the boundless potential of jet suit technology. Gravity Industries envisions broader applications, ranging from search and rescue missions to military defense operations. Collaborations with organizations like the Great North Air Ambulance Service and the British Royal Navy highlight the jet suit’s versatility in navigating diverse terrains and overcoming logistical challenges.

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Looking ahead, Gravity Industries plans to expand the Jet Suit Race Series, with a championship slated for Dubai next year. By fostering innovation and inspiring imagination, Browning aims to propel jet-suit technology into the mainstream, fulfilling the dreams of countless individuals who grew up fantasizing about the possibility of real-life superheroes taking flight.

In the eyes of Richard Browning and the team at Gravity Industries, the Jet Suit Race Series represents a convergence of science fiction and reality, breathing life into childhood dreams of soaring through the skies like the heroes of comic books and movies. As the world watches in awe, Dubai’s Jet Suit Race Series heralds a new era of human flight, where the sky is no longer the limit.

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