July 7, 2022

Richard Browning Shares Why He Loves Skydio Drones

Kendall Martin

Kendall Martin

Richard Browning taking off with 1000 horsepower jetsuit

My name's Richard Browning. I'm the founder and chief test pilot from Gravity Industries. And we build and fly thousand horsepower jet suits. I’m most proud of turning what still sounds like a ludicrous idea, into something that not only works, but works really well and has scaled into a really successful business that's been all over the world.

We first heard about Skydio when we saw something on social media showing what looked like a relatively conventional drone, but actually operating in a really interesting way where there was no pilot involved, capturing the most amazing shots. So it looked like the ideal camera tool to pair up with what we do at Gravity Industries.

drone filming jet pack

I've got quite a bit of experience flying normal camera drones, although some of my team have much more experience than me. We also fly really sophisticated FPV drones, which require far more skill than what I’ve got. We're pretty familiar with drones, in fact, I’ve even built some of our own.

Skydio 2 filming demo of Gravity jet suit for search and rescue use-cases

Here at Gravity, we use Skydio, to mostly film events, but also some of our test runs and some experimental stuff with the search and rescue folks. Most recently, we flew up a mountain in the Lake District and it was just really great to be able to have a camera platform that, out of the box, could fly itself, follow me, and capture incredible footage hands-free. Skydio is much different from the conventional manually piloted drones in the sense that I can go to events without any of my support team members and still capture everything we do as a one-man set-up.

4k camera drone gravity jet suit

It's quite satisfying to be able to show up, launch the drone. Tap on myself to track, start the engines, do the flight, land, then deliver a little talk to an audience and by the time I’m finished talking, I've usually downloaded and presented footage to the event staff. The Skydio footage looks spectacular and it always looks like I’ve got a 3 man drone team hiding away, capturing my events, even when I show up alone.

drone following Gravity jet suit demo in Dubai at sunset

I’ve done 200+ events in 36 countries, and my favorite location I’ve flown would be Iceland. It was pretty special flying with the glaciers in the sea and the crazy volcanic landscapes. That was pretty special. Flying around an aircraft carrier was also pretty amazing, as well as flying in the Maldives when the sun was going down and it just looked spectacular. Those are probably some of my favorite moments.

self flying drone following jet pack

When we were doing wing testing that allows my legs to get lifted up by the airflow and it makes flying an awful lot faster. We did a flight at 85 miles an hour. There were some interesting hairy situations with that flight, especially when transitioning to landing. In order to land, I actually had to vector my arms forward and use that to slow myself down, which was probably one of the most exciting/scary flights I’ve ever done.

My most favorite Skydio moments are when I turn around to see the Skydio, just sitting there locked onto me. I kind of treat it like another person up there with me. I just smile, nod, and say, “right, come on, chase me.” I’ve done this with multiple pilots in the air, and it's great fun. The way it behaves is almost like a little creature and I think I think the footage I’ve captured while just being playful with it has been some of the best.

Richard Browning filming live demo of jet suit with Skydio 2
Richard Browning filming live demo of jet suit with Skydio 2

It’s just been a real pleasure using Skydio drones as their hardware/software improves and our equipment also improves, it's just been a pleasure to capture and share some of our amazing experiences around the world with Skydio.

Still have questions about whether Skydio is right for you? Want to share your Skydio footage? Or chat with other Skydio pilots? Check out the Community Discord and ask our raving fans what they think to learn more about what makes us different from other consumer camera drones.

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