"Everything’s hot, it’s running, the engines are screaming at you."

Iron Men

A number of daredevil pilots took to the sky on Wednesday, racing their jetpacks around a predetermined, overwater route through the Dubai Marina in the United Arab Emirates.

Footage shows a row of jetpack-clad men taking off from a dock and blasting between pairs of inflated obstacles, a 21st-century spin on Red Bull's Air Race.

Just to confirm your suspicion, Marvel's "Iron Man" was very much the inspiration for the one-of-a-kind racing event.

"The closest analogy would be that dream of flying... and then go wherever your mind is taking you," Richard Browning, founder of jetpack maker Gravity Industries, which organized the event, told the Associated Press.

"And yes, the world of Marvel superheroes and DC Comics, they have created that dream book with CGI, and we’ve got the closest I think anybody’s ever got to to delivering that for real," he added.

Full Throttle

During this week's race, pilots had to battle some pretty extreme conditions.

"Everything’s hot, it’s running, the engines are screaming at you," winning pilot Issa Kalfon told the AP. "And the flag drops, and it’s just — you absolutely go for it."

The event wasn't without accidents. One Emirati pilot, who reportedly only had 12 days to prepare for the race, plunged into the water during his heat, but was quickly fished out by rescuers largely unscathed.

Gravity Industries has spent years perfecting its 1,500 horsepower jetpack. The company is eyeing a number of use cases for the suit, including the military. In 2021, a British Royal Marine used a Gravity Industries suit to land on a nearby ship after approaching it on a powerboat.

The company has also tested the suit for use by emergency rescue teams, allowing paramedics to fly up mountains to provide first aid.

Other than saving lives, the Tony Stark-like contraption could also provide some nail-baiting entertainment, as this week's race demonstrates. And we're here for it.

More on Gravity Industries: Jetpack Pilot Leaps Incredible Gaps Between Platforms, Like Mario

Share This Article