Leaving on a jetsuit? London store offers chance to hover like "Iron Man"

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Video screengrab of the "Iron Man" jet suit in London's Selfridges department store. (Reuters)
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Video screengrab of the "Iron Man" jet suit in London's Selfridges department store. (Reuters)
Updated 18 July 2018
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Leaving on a jetsuit? London store offers chance to hover like "Iron Man"

  • Running on jet fuel or diesel, it has a speed record of 32 miles per hour
  • Made up of five miniature jet engines mounted on the pilot's arms and back

LONDON: Ever fancied a dab at being "Iron Man"? Now you can. A jet suit created by a British former commodities trader has gone on sale in a London department store with a cool price tag of £340,000 ($443,428).
Made up of five miniature jet engines mounted on the pilot's arms and back, and also of electronics and 3D printed parts, the suit by Gravity Industries is reminiscent of the one worn by Robert Downey Jr as Marvel superhero "Iron Man".
Running on jet fuel or diesel, it has a speed record of 32 miles per hour (51 kph) and altitude limit of 12,000 feet (3,658 metres), though inventor Richard Browning hovers only a few metres above the ground when using it, for safety reasons.
He has taken it on demonstrations around the world and on Wednesday took flight above a small closed-off street outside luxury department store Selfridges, which is selling custom-made versions of the suit.
"This consumes about four litres a minute in the hover (position) so you can fly for three or four minutes quite easily and we have got another version - certainly on a cold day when you get more thrust, it'll fly for about nine minutes," he said.
"That's something we're looking to improve but it's the inevitable consequence of flying without wings."
The curious can see the suit at the store as well as test out a virtual reality version. Anybody who decides to buy a suit will also be offered training.
"If you watch this as an audience member you probably get exposed to more warmth than I do as the pilot," Browning said. "It's actually surprisingly calm and not very violent. It's very passive and gentle when you're flying it." ($1 = 0.7668 pounds) 


Colombia rescues 49 women from ‘sexual slavery’

Police officers stand guard next to the area after an attack on the Station of the District San Jose, in Barranquilla, Colombia, in this January 27. 2018 file photo. (REUTERS)
Updated 18 min 43 sec ago
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Colombia rescues 49 women from ‘sexual slavery’

  • A series of raids linked to the Operation Vesta launched several weeks ago resulted in 18 arrests last month

BOGOTA: Almost 50 women trafficked through underground tunnels to work as nightclub “sex slaves” were rescued from the tourism hotspot Cartagena, Colombian prosecutors said on Monday.
The victims — 26 Colombians and 23 Venezuelans — were allegedly forced into working as prostitutes in nightclub basements connected by a series of tunnels.
They were tricked with false promises of work before being held captive in “precarious conditions,” Attorney General Mario Gomez said in a press conference.
The victims were relieved of their passports and identity cards by a network of pimps engaged in the “sexual exploitation of women.”
A series of raids linked to the Operation Vesta launched several weeks ago resulted in 18 arrests last month.
Gomez said police were hot on the heels of the pimps’ headquarters and said they would be tried for “trafficking people for sexual slavery.”
Gomez said the “geographical corridors close to the Caribbean coast,” including Cartagena, provided the “majority of sexual tourism” in Colombia.
The US State Department has described Colombia as a “source and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex and labor trafficking.”