Real life 'Iron Man' says it took him 15 years to build perfect machine
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You might have thought Iron Man was nothing more than a fictional Marvel superhero, but one innovative man in Australia has proven he's very much real.
CEO and founder of JetPack Aviation David Mayman has been interested in tech since he was a child, when he dreamed of flying on his own - and not just in a plane.
The creative youngster tried to build a helicopter out pieces of a fence and a lawnmower motor when he was just twelve years old, and even had a private pilot's license by the time he was seventeen.
Not satisfied with that, in 2005 he started working on his JetPack, and 10 years later he found himself flying over the Statue of Liberty.
Describing his first flight, per Auto Futures, Mayman said: "It was many years coming. It was a lot of work. It took years because it took months to work out with the [Federal Aviation Administration] and all the different departments from New Jersey and New York.
"Because it was the first public flight in an iconic location, we were not allowed to publicize it in advance. It was amazing. It went off without a hitch.”
The real-life Iron Man has since used his JetPack creation to fly over a range of landmarks all over the world, and went on to form Jetpack Aviation in 2016.
After beginning his project in 2015, it took him 15 years of trial and error to make the machine 'just about perfect', as well as safe.
Describing the feeling of flying to 60 Minutes Australia, Mayman said: "Seeing the ground just disappear beneath you and feeling that you can do anything in the sky that you wanted... It's like being superman.
"Flying the JetPack, your brain is completely clear of everything else, you're just completely focused... It's literally like flying a motorcycle in the sky."
Mayman has said his creation, which anyone can learn how to use, allows people to fly and be 'superhuman'. His company, which is based in Los Angeles, describes itself as having been the 'leading the micro personal vertical take off and landing (VTOL) industry for the past 10 years'.
The company conducts engine and flight testing as well as pilot training at a purpose-built facility in California, and has worked closely with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to ensure its flights are approved.
"The FAA has reviewed our training and maintenance manuals and we employ the only instructors in the world authorized to sign students off for JetPack flights. Our operations team include professional aviators and commercial pilots, all flight operations are conducted only after thorough risk assessment and mitigation plans are developed," the site explains.