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Real Iron Man – The Jet Pack


Technology

While the Iron Man suit; for the most part, defies physics (not to mention minimal development costs that start at a quarter-of-a-million dollars), some of the technology of the Iron Man suit can be achieved or will be in the near-future.

Martin Jetpack

The Martin Aircraft Company in Christchurch, New Zealand have been trying to perfect the jet pack for over a decade. They are going to debut this year for about $150,000 per unit. It is the first commercial jet pack. While it cannot go into the air higher than 3.3 feet or go faster than 6.2 miles per hour, it is still progress in the development of jet packs.

Jet packs

While we still do not have a ‘decent’ jet pack that will have us flying around like Iron Man or the Rocketeer, there are a few that we can look at or even buy.

Two more jet packs are coming from Tecnologia Aeroespacial Mexicana and Jetpack International, both jet packs will each give you only about 30 seconds of flight time, with Jetpack International’s model boasting a slight advantage in speed, topping out at 70 mph. For $250,000 and $155,000 you can get these jet packs individually and the flight training necessary. Jetpack International is reportedly working on a new model that will give the user a full 19 minutes of flight time.

Skywalker jet

Rick Herron, the creator of Skywalker Jets, has designed a rocket pack that weighs 90 pounds and can propel a 200-pound pilot in the air for 5 minutes. Rick has plans to eventually produce a final model that will have a range of about 4 miles and includes a integrated GPS unit into the HUD showing the flight time and engine information as well as other details to assist the pilot during flight. Rick plans to get the device approved by the FAA and available to the public for $200,000, if it goes into production.

Jet pack

In the film Iron Man, the repulsors at the bottom of Iron Man’s boots and in his palms are used to propel him through the air. They are powered by the Arc Reactor.

In real-life, jet packs work by shooting jets of escaping gases or water downward. The usually use nitrogen, hydrogen peroxide, or kerosene, while some use Turbojet engines. Currently, most electronic portable power sources in real-life cannot produce enough power to lift a person, much-less, a heavy suit of armor off of the ground. This is why gases are mostly used in jet packs for this purpose. To build an Iron Man suit, the builder would have to create or find a way to power the suit, and create enough thrust and propulsion to get himself and the suit off the ground. Currently, the only option for getting a person off of the ground (like in the film) is with jet packs which (at this point in time) use gases. The builder can not use gases in an Iron Man suit because of the limited flight time (barely seconds) due to the small amount of gas the suit can carry with it, and the rapid burning up of the gas inside of it to be of much use to the builder, which leaves the builder with one choice. Electrical power. The power that such a suit would need has not been developed yet due to the lack of massive amounts of energy (without using a large cable attached to it, which limits the suit’s range of flight) that can be transported through flight, which limits the abilities of a real-life Iron Man suit.

The ‘repulsor technology’ is the technology that Tony Stark uses in the Jericho Missile and in the Iron Man suits. The repulsor technology is basically thrust (it means: to repulse, to expel, etc.) The gloves are ‘flight stabilizers’ which help him to stabilize himself when he uses the Iron Man suit. The repulsor thrusters are also incorporated into the gloves to assist with flight. The boots are used to lift himself and the suit off the ground while using the gloves to hold himself upright.

According to the US Government, real jetpacks have very little practical value due to the limitations of current technology. The United States armed forces, which has conducted most of the jet pack research, has declared that helicopters are far more practical due to the ability to quickly transport more supplies and troops. Many others have worked on devising a functional jet pack, but with limited success. Personal jet apparatuses used in the military would be primarily used for use in reconnaissance, crossing rivers, amphibious landing, access to steep mountain slopes, overcoming minefields, tactical maneuverer, etc.

One of the largest stumbling blocks that would-be rocket pack builders face is the difficulty of obtaining concentrated hydrogen peroxide, which is no longer produced by many chemical companies. The few companies that still produce high-concentration hydrogen peroxide only sell to large corporations or to governments, forcing amateurs and professionals to make their own hydrogen peroxide distillation installations.

To understand jet packs (in real-life) you have to have an idea of how they work and how they are propelled into the air.

In hydrogen peroxide powered rocket packs, a hydrogen peroxide-powered motor is based on the decomposition reaction of hydrogen peroxide. Nearly pure hydrogen peroxide is used.

Turbojet packs are packs with the turbojet engine that work on the traditional kerosene. They have higher efficiency, greater height, and a duration of flight of many minutes, but they are far more complex in construction and very expensive. Only one working model of this pack was made; it only underwent flight tests in the 1960s and at present, it no longer flies.

Rocket packs are used for extra-vehicular activity (EVA) in outer space. While near Earth, a jet pack has to produce a g-force of at least 1g. With only small amounts of thrust needed, safety, and temperature are much more manageable than in Earth gravity inside the atmosphere.

Winged jet and rocket packs are jet packs that have wings that assist them with gliding through the air.

A water-propelled jet pack is a recently conceived concept that has a small unmanned boat with a pump that delivers pressurized water to the jet pack via a hose, so it can only be used over a body of water.

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Real Iron Man – The Armor


XOS Exoskeleton

The XOS exoskeleton is a powered exoskeleton, which is a powered mobile machine that is worn by a person to perform actions that could not usually be completed without the help of the machine or to protect the user from injury in a hostile environment, created by the company, Sarcos/Raytheon. It allows the user to do two hundred-pound pulldowns easily while only feeling about 10 pounds of the two hundred pounds. Lifting weight with a machine like this is a breeze with the robotic technology that is being utilized in this machine. It also increases the wearer’s reaction time.

The exoskeleton’s built in computer follows and monitor’s the precise movements of the user, borrowing the user’s behavior thousands of times per second. By doing this, the powered exoskeleton amplifies the user’s strength with the help of the robotic exoskeleton. It is powered by an external power supply via a cable.

HAL-5

The HAL (Hybrid Assistive Limb) exoskeleton, also known as HAL-5, is another powered exoskeleton that is being developed by Tsukuba University, a Japanese company.

It is a 33.0693 pound battery-powered suit that monitors the muscle movements of the user’s skin through the electrical signal flow. These signals are sent to the computer which converts it into signals for controlling the motors on the hips and knees of the powered exoskeleton, amplifying the user’s muscle strength up to 5 times their normal strength. It was designed for older work force rather than for military use. A company called Cyberdyne is currently mass-producing the suits.

It is powered by a waist-mounted 100-volt battery pack.

An updated robotsuit version was released more recently that improves the user’s mobility and enables the wearer to carry more weight. It is going to be applied in ADL support for disabled people, heavy labour support at factories, and for rescue support at disaster sites, as well as in the entertainment field.

HULC

HULC which was created by Lockheed Martin is another powered exoskeleton with 4 lithium ion batteries. It can be operated for 48-hours. It allows the wearer to travel 10-miles-per-hour while carrying 200 pounds without hardly even feeling the extra weight. This would allow the soldier to carry more equipment without more strain.

ExoHiker

Other suits like the ExoHiker (pictured above) have been made that allow the lower-body exoskeleton to charge itself through the act of walking using regenerative force; while, at the same time, taking a load of the wearer’s back using only a few watts of power. It was created by Berkeley Bionics.

The Trojan

Troy Hurtubise; a Canadian inventor, outdoorsman, and martial artist, spent his entire family fortune, almost one thousand hours of construction, and twenty-years to develop what he says is a “a suit of armor that can protect the wearer against any attack.” This superhuman suit of armor looks a lot like what you might see in video games and science fiction movies. It has been called the ‘Halo suit’, after the fictional MJOLNIR battle armorMaster Chief wears in the Xbox and PC games.

Ever since he was attacked by a bear, he has been on a quest for invincibility, even consulting physicists, biologists, and zoologists about the exact amounts of force and the dangers a human would face should they be in a bear attack.

This is footage of the suit of armor that he created that was intended to protect the user from bear attacks.

This 40-pound suit, which looks something between a commando, ninja assassin, and Iron Man, is what he calls ‘The Trojan’. “It is the first full exoskeleton ballistic suit of body armor.” This suit features two magnetic hip holsters for holding a vast array of dangerous weaponry, a small detachable RC vehicle for seeing around corners or away from the user, laser-targeting sensors that are set to the user’s line of sight, a five-way-radio, a built-in voice changer, a microphone on the arm for recording last words of dying soldiers, pepper spray that can scatter a mob of at least 40 people, a solar powered air-conditioning unit, and a world clock with 20 time-zones near the crotch area. Underneath the armor itself is a substance that Troy designed called “shadow armor” that can stop any knives, bullets, shrapnel, and explosives. The materials for his armor prototypes that he has built were salvaged from his junk yard business, and composites of his own design. It is powered by helmet-mounted, solar-powered battery packs. $150,000 later, he had his own armor that could protect him from almost any attack. At 5 feet, 8 inches Troy is not a terribly tall guy, but when he wears the armored suit, he towers over everyone at 7 feet, 3 inches. His suit of armor is bulletproof, nightproof, shockproof, and bombproof full body armor.

He began hearing from friends from Iraq and Afghanistan asking if he could find a way to help them survive I.E.D.’s (Improvised Explosive Devices) while having the flexibility and lightness required for the battlefield. He began to look at his earlier designs which were based off of designs from Star Wars and Halo because he believes that the best designs come from creativity, not just engineering prowess.

He has yet to secure a contract with the military, but he has already done real-world testing. Troy has said that he could begin mass producing armor units immediately for only $15,000 dollars once he has military buyers.

He began speaking with professionals in the field including the United States Rangers, Green Berets, and Canadian Special Forces. He told them what he was making, and what they needed that should be a part of the suit. He was interrupted and they gave him numerous ideas, which he used when he went about making the design. He believed that he should speak of their needs for a suit of armor with the soldiers instead of the generals and politicians in order to ensure that his armor would succeed where large military Research and Development budgets had failed. He interviewed every soldier that had been in the war zone that he could find. He was told by a Ranger that the helmet needed to be durable against shots-to-the-head, and that it had to have a coolant system in it while working in high temperatures. A sniper told him that when they are in a ambush situations with sniper fire, only the guy in the front can see where the sniper is, and has no way to signal back the sniper’s location so that he can be taken out. So Troy designed a laser tracking system that is perfectly centered that puts a laser beam along the user’s line of a sight, so a soldier just needs to give the order. He also designed the pepper spray so that a soldier that is out of ammunition still has a way of defense and can retreat from dangerous situations. The Trojan suits represent Troy’s vision of the future soldier, which is more like a walking tank that is intimidating to the wearer’s enemies. It was also intended for use by police officers. Despite his claims concerning its protective capability, it has been criticized by some for being impractical.

The Trojan with Shield

He has stood up in raging bonfires, been burnt alive, beaten with baseball bats, picked fights with bears, been hit by speeding trucks, knocked down by chain-held swinging tree trunks, thrown off of cliffs, and been shot at with double-barreled shotguns and by various military grade weapons all while wearing this extremely durable armor.

Sadly, he went bankrupt after spending most of his money on the advanced suit of armor that he created. Although he did try to sell the prototype of the suit on Ebay, the auction’s reserve bid was not met.

Lifesuit (Prototype 14)

The Lifesuit (Prototype 14) was built by Monty Reed with the idea to replace the wheelchair rather than for use in the military. Monty suffered from a severe back injury after a parachute crash and was told that he would never walk again. So he began his work on the Lifesuit. It is powered by compressed air that allows the suit to move 2.5 miles per hour. Prototype 14 (or LS14), the latest build of the Lifesuit, uses a system of compressed air that automates the process, and also allow the wearer to pick up objects that are as heavy as 200 pounds.

Three versions of the suit are currently being developed; the Home Suit, which is a type of walking wheelchair; the Rescue Suit, which aids workers at disaster sites, allowing them to lift and clear rubble with ease; and the Rehab Suit, which assists everyone from the elderly and paraplegics to train and exercise their bodies.

Arc Reactor

While the power sources of most of these machines are not portable, it is currently impossible to power such machines with the same kind of power that is necessary as Tony Stark’s Arc Reactor which is (in the first Iron Man film) a clean energy source. The ARC Reactor’s energy that is generated by his suit contains even more energy than any existing nuclear power plant. Creating a device as small and as powerful such as this one; if it existed, would solve many of the world’s power problems assuming the materials (if any) could be obtained.