Building a real flying Iron Man Suit with Adam Savage
10:04

Building a real flying Iron Man Suit with Adam Savage

Science
I swear if Tony Stark was not fictional and he was making an [UNKNOWN] suit right now, this is precisely how he would do it and this is the exact technology he'd be using. [MUSIC] It feels like wearing a massive wet suit. [MUSIC] We are in Hayward, California, and I am learning to fly. [MUSIC] My friend Richard Browning, his company Gravity is the inventor of. Effectively Iron Man jetpacks that he wears on his arms and his back. It's hot. It's incredibly noisy. And it's absolutely magical to watch him just bring his arms and rise off the ground as if he's just sort of hanging from a string. I'm literally like less than an hour from putting on a rig and starting lessons and how to do it myself. And I'm like a kid in a candy store. All of this is part of a new show I'm making for Science Channel and it is, people saw me for 14 years on Mythbusters doing absurd things, trying stuff and testing stuff and this is gonna feel very familiar. This whole episode began because I did an appearance at the Colorado School of Mines and said we got these big 3D printer that can print titanium. And I was like really? And they said yeah. If you want to print something weird, let us know. And I like, how about a full suit of Iron Man. He said he had a new show coming out focused on extreme engineering and he wanted to 3D print an Iron Man suit out of titanium which of course I said yes to immediately. We ended up partnering with EOS, the 3D printing company that prints in titanium to print a full bulletproof flyable suit of Iron Man armor. We've worked with our team to take files from the Marvel Studios for Iron Man, convert them into buildable objects that we could then send to our partner on this, IOS, who fabricated all the parts and one of the requirements we were given was to make the parts as thin as possible. Because we're trying to minimize weight. We a laser beam to melt metal powder. The metal powder is about 40 microns in diameter, so it's like half the human hair. We've spread a layer of powder across the [UNKNOWN] platform, the laser selectively scans and melts the powder, and then it builds it up layer per layer based on the geometry. And once it's done you remove the powder and there's your part. We are so far out on the cutting edge of the printing technology, and the armor, and the metallurgical qualities of the titanium that it sounds like hyperbole. But I swear, if Tony Stark was not fictional and he was making an ironman suit right now, this is precisely how he would do it, and this is the exact technology he would use. Kill power. [MUSIC] There's components made of titanium, there's components made of urethane, some flexible pieces. We also have fiberglass, we have some pieces 3D printed in nylon. I think over 280 parts for the whole suit. There's a couple of different pieces of mechanics that are going on. So there's the hinge in here which I don't know if you can see that the hinge which kind of floats a little bit. These will be these will be tightened down once we're ready to put them on to Adam. And then on the inside here, we have this webbing which is going to actually come up And connect to. This will buckle in on the back across the back of at them and this will connect to each other. These are European palms which have been painted to match. This is a completely jointed finger. And all of these files that we used were the original files for the Mark II suit. We've been using this as a model, this is the same version of the suit that we're working with. Looking at this as kinda the overall picture, seeing where rivets are placed and how pieces fit together in orientation. [MUSIC] I'm Richard Browning, I am founder and chief test pilot from gravity and we build thousand horsepower jet suits. When Adam first rises and will instigate start in the suit, and that next 90 seconds is a 90 seconds people that I don't think ever forget in their lives. [BLANK_AUDIO] You feel all these engines, all five engines around you go from zero and cold up to sitting at about 30,000 RPM and idling. And you can just feel a sense of. sensational power. What we do from there is just progressed to ever greater degrees of power and eventually it'll be enough that if he if he's got the control he should be able to vector it down and below enough air downwards that he should come off the ground. And then after that it's just all this intuitive sense of balance of control. [MUSIC] [SOUND] That was awesome. If you're reasonably light, reasonably strong, you've done some kind of sporting endeavor that involves spatial awareness, things like rock climbing or gymnastics or maybe piloting a helicopter. All those things seem to point towards allowing your brain to learn this balance control quick. [MUSIC] I do have a lot of circus training. I have a very good sense of balance. I taught myself to ride a unicycle when I was 15. Hello, ladies. But this is totally different. [MUSIC] As you might have noticed from one of his last goes, As he's just about to take off, his feet tend to kick backwards. And it's like a human instinct, too, when you feel that you're gonna fall forwards. He needs to kinda go with it and relax into is. And so, the moment of lift off is just gonna, literally, just gently lift off. [MUSIC] [SOUND] Argh! Well done! That was the most fun I've ever had with 1,000 horsepower in my whole life. That was astounding. With these four jets and the one on my back, I was just able to hover like 15 feet off the ground and actually directionalize and aim a little bit. And that last bit of just feeling the power, my arms locked, rising off the ground, Absolutely incomparable. I have learned enough about using this device over the past couple of days to know that I should not put on the Iron Man armour and try and do this. [LAUGH] But that's okay cuz we're prototyping the suit, not my ability to fly in the suit. [MUSIC] [MUSIC] How does it feel? It feels like wearing a massive wet suit but it's cool. I'm amazed it's all going on so well. [MUSIC] [MUSIC] [MUSIC] [MUSIC] That was quite an epic little piece of flying there. I think if I may say so myself Wearing all of that weight and especially wearing the helmet and being able to see virtually nothing out of those eyepieces and thinking about it, I bend my knees a bit when I land and I couldn't bend my knees. I just kinda landed in a really quite painful way. It's a very strange curve that's in the in the shin part of the suit. I don't know why I'm sure it looks really cinematic. But my shins don't have a banana like curve I'm pleased to say. I've driven everything from an Indy car in which I didn't pop the clutch, to a zamboni, but I have never tried a device like this. The number of different things and threads and connections that came together to make this work, including my friendship with richard It's like this perfect kizmit. [MUSIC] [MUSIC] [MUSIC] [MUSIC]

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