United Kingdom

DIY McFly! Back to the Future fanatic takes to skies on a hoverboard using a £340,000 flying suit

A Back to the Future fan has fulfilled a lifetime ambition of becoming the real-life Marty McFly as he took to the skies on a hoverboard using a jet pack he designed himself.

Incredible footage shows Sam Rogers recreating a classic cinematic moment alongside a DeLorean wearing the £340,000 flying suit that was built with a 3D printer.

The 24-year-old's feat is believed to be the closest anyone has ever come to flying a real-life working hoverboard made famous by the 1989 blockbuster Back to the Future Part II. 

The university graduate is design lead and test pilot for British aeronautical innovation companies Gravity Industries and AdditiveX,.

The flying suit broke a world record in 2017 when it topped 30mph while being flown in Reading but is said to be capable of reaching more than 50mph. 

A Back to the Future fanatic (pictured on the hoverboard) has fulfilled a lifetime ambition of becoming the real-life Marty McFly as he took to the skies on his very own hoverboard

Sam Rogers, 24, flew through the air alongside a DeLorean time machine, made famous by the 1989 blockbuster Back to the Future Part II

Sam performed the stunt while wearing an authentic Marty McFly jacket, cap and trainers.

He said the Back to the Future films had always played a part in his childhood and inspired his fascination with flight, aerospace and design.

The 24-year-old, who was given a toy DeLorean as a tenth birthday present by his grandparents, said being able to fly a hoverboard for real was 'a dream come true..' 

He said: 'I never thought I would even sit in a DeLorean, let alone capture something this cinematic - bringing a hoverboard probably as close as it has ever been to actually hovering.

'For my tenth birthday I was given a DeLorean time machine, the design of this car was just the coolest thing in the world and more so the way the second movie illustrated flight.

'In the film the vehicles didn't need speed to take off, they hovered. There's something about hovering that is just so magical to witness.

'So I did the age ten equivalent of research, downloaded a load of hypothetical hoverboard plans and started sketching my own with fans, engines and magnets trying to work out how close this could come to reality.'

Sam explained that the jet suit - which helps him take flight whilst standing on the hoverboard - was designed mainly with a 3D printer. 

He said: 'Now I'm 24, I helped design and pilot a jet suit, designed by former Royal Marine Richard Browning, which allows a pilot to fly with the minimal equipment possible.

'I work on the design of the suit which is mainly 3D printed in metal and polymer.'

The 24-year-old performed the incredible stunt whilst dressed like Marty McFly from the film

The jet suit helps Rogers take flight with turbines on his back and arms and controls on handles

Rogers explained the movies inspired his interest in flight, aerospace and design

The 1,000 brake horsepower jet suit weighs 27 kilos and set a world record in 2017 for 'Fastest speed in a body-controlled jet engine powered suit' - as Richard Browning clocked 32.02mph (51.53 km/h) at Lagoona Park in Reading, UK. Despite hitting just over 30mph in the world record attempt, the suit can reach up to 50mph.

The suit has six kerosene-fuelled turbines located on the back and arms, each equipped with 50 pounds (22kg) of thrust. The flight path is completely controlled by human body movement as there is no remote control to steer the suit in any direction.


Six kerosene-fuelled turbines located on the back and arms

Direction steered fully by human body movement, no remote control

Made of aluminium, steel and nylon 

Capable of doing 50mph

Weighs 27 Kilos 

Sam graduated from Loughborough University last year and the suit, printed entirely in aluminium, steel and nylon, was developed as part of his degree. 

Sam came up with the idea of using his groundbreaking invention to help create a real-life hoverboard. 

But first he had to learn to fly the jet suit with a hoverboard attached to his feet with velcro.

He said it proved tricky to master, as he usually relies on both legs for landing, but he soon became a natural ahead of the video shoot at a UK-based airfield on May 23.

Sam, from Salisbury, Wilts., added: 'Last summer I had the idea to try and fly with the hoverboard attached to my feet.

'At first it was pretty wobbly, having both feet bolted to one platform while you fly feels pretty weird. You use your legs a lot while landing.

'But after a few tries I got stable enough and now we had a flying hoverboard - all we needed now was the car.'

Sam spotted a replica of the movie model while showcasing his jet suit at the Yeovilton Air Show in Somerset last year and got talking to the owner.

Rogers explained that it took him time to master riding the hoverboard whilst wearing the 1,000 brake horsepower jet suit as he spoke to the owner of a replica DeLorean

He said: 'The owner Tom had built a fully modified time machine DeLorean and even more ludicrous, he was willing to let me fly alongside it.

'We were all set - we had the car, the hoverboard and the gravity jet suit to make it fly.

'We did the shoot on a runway at an undisclosed location in the UK on the weekend of May 23.

'It's just one honest shot, there's no trickery involved, showing the time machine and hoverboard gliding down the runway together.

'Landing on the hoverboard is hard, the plastic slips along the tarmac where your boots would usually grip.

'This time we were using velcro on the bottom of the boots, which meant I could tear away from the board if I ever needed to.

'With the appropriate cap, jacket, Grays Sports Almanac and the toy Delorean in my back pocket I was ready to go and we boarded over to the launch point.

'We did it in two takes. On one of the takes I had a bit of crash landing, apart from landing on my backside on that little toy Dolorean, all was fine.

'The shots still came out great and I was delighted with the results. As a lifelong Back to the Future fan, it really was a dream come true.'

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