HE'S BEEN called the real-life Iron Man and now Richard Browning has proved it by flying in his jet suit from the New Forest to the Isle of Wight - to deliver a letter.

Richard took just a few minutes to make the journey across the Solent to recreate the attempt by German entrepreneur Gerhard Zucker, who tried to send mail by rocket to the Isle of Wight in 1934.

But the main reason was to demonstrate his incredible flying jet suit, which is straight out of the Robert Downey Jnr film Iron Man and which he invented himself.

Richard, who is the founder and chief test pilot of Salisbury-based aeronautical firm Gravity Industries, hopes the suits - costing around £500,000 each - will later be turned into a racing series and has recently performed demonstrations in Shanghai and Boston.

The trans-Solent flight of 1.3km was recorded for the BBC's InsideOut programme and charts Richard's incredible success as an inventor and pioneer of personal jet-powered flight.

He has previously demonstrated the jet suit in the grounds of Salisbury Cathedral, an event attended by more than 250 students from across Salisbury as part of a special programme promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Richard's company says: "We augment the body and mind with a suite of patent pending technology to enable unparalleled human flight."

He said: "It is hard to truly describe what it [flying] is like."