The real-life Ironman has demonstrated the potential of his jet-powered suit to the Royal Marines, joined them for amphibious landings and wowed the crowds at Yeovilton at the Fleet Air Arm’s annual show.
But the flier and his Gravity Industries team wanted to see how the suit might work over the ocean – using the patrol boat as his test bed.
“P2000s only have a small landing area so it provided a challenge for the test pilot and the Ship’s Company who very much enjoyed seeing the ‘rocket man’ in action”
Commander Milly Ingham RN
A small landing/launch pad was set up on Dasher’s forecastle as he leapt between the boat and two accompanying rib speed boats buzzing around the Solent off Portsmouth Harbour at speeds of up to 20 knots.
The trials proved that the suit works over a large body of water and that the pilot can land and take-off with relative ease from boats or ships moving at speed – even with the limited space on the upper deck of a P2000 patrol vessel.
Commander Milly Ingham, Commander of Portsmouth’s 1st Patrol Boat Squadron – the mother unit for 14 P2000 craft – said working with the jet suit built on the RN’s long-standing tradition of being at the cutting edge of technological developments from the days of steam through to the world’s most advanced battleship, Dreadnought, and ASDIC – better known today as sonar – which was key to defeating the U-boat in World War 2.