A Wiltshire entrepreneur in a jet suit swooped in to amaze invited guests at an event hosted by the government’s defence, science and technology laboratory, Dstl.
Richard Browning, the Wiltshire-based founder and test pilot of Gravity, flew rapidly through the air to track down a would-be assailant in a fictitious scenario.
The event was part of a showcase of new science and technology that could help fight crime and terrorism.
Among the science displayed to senior officials from the National Police Chiefs’ Council and the Home Office was Gravity, a human jet suit system.
The pilot swooped in to amaze the invited guests, then presented a fictitious scenario, flying rapidly through the air and tracking down a would-be assailant.
Those watching the event included Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt and Professor Paul Taylor, the Police Chief Scientific Advisor.
Martin chairs the National Police Chief Council and coordinates the operational response across the police service to the threats the UK faces, including terrorism, organised crime and national emergencies.
He said: “Seeing a human flying is really impressive. To see something that feels like you’re watching science fiction took all those watching by surprise.
“It is clear the Gravity system has lots of potential and we are fascinated to see how it will develop and if there are any possible uses in a policing environment in years to come.”
Richard Browning said: “It’s always the same reaction – almost disbelief that you could see a human being moving in that way when your only real reference point is probably a Marvel superhero film.
“However, the application of Gravity is endless, to be able to move specialist personnel in an urban environment very quickly in a three dimensional space, be it onto a rooftop, over a river or difficult terrain to potentially contain a roving threat is really powerful.”