If you think it's impossible to buy your very own Iron Man suit, then think again, but be prepared to spend some serious dollar.
Out of all the superheroes in the Marvel cannon, Iron Man is the only character us mere mortals have a shot at emulating. Why? It's simple! Our Tony is not a mutant and doesn't have any any special powers he can call his own, but what he does have is a very special suit that could potentially transform even the geekiest of geeks into an iron plated god and emperor of the skies.
Although a fully functioning suit as worn by Tony Stark is currently not on the market, the good news for Marvel movie fans is that with a bit of selective shopping you too can put together your very own Iron Man suit. The bad news is hardly any of us would be able to afford it. And if you were to try and purchase some of the components, the US secret services and military elite would be on your case quicker than you could say, "Extreme terrorist threat!"
So just in case any of you win big on the Euromillions and have nothing better to spend your cash on. Here's how - providing you're something of a scientific genius and groundbreaking engineer - you can make your own Iron Man suit and save the world if not your sanity.
It's All In Your Head
Just like the brain controls the body, Tony controls his suit through his voice activated helmet. Modern day fighter pilots use similar helmets to control their jets. And the state-of-the-art Helmet Mounted Display System for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is a case in point. This bad boy relays critical flight information in the form of video and calligraphic imagery to the pilot and amongst other things also projects night vision directly onto the visor. If you're interested beware, it'll cost you somewhere in the region of $54.1 million.
The Body Beautiful
Iron Man wouldn't be any kind of contender if it wasn't for the awesome strength, maneuverability and titanic resilience that his exoskeleton affords him. And guess what? US defence giant Raytheon have been busy making the military's 40-year-old fantasy of creating mechanically enhanced troops a reality. Raytheon's XOS exoskeleton can enable the person wearing it to lift 200 lbs as if it were a feather. The suit is so impressive that Marvel illustrator and consultant to the first Tony Stark movie said, "That's Iron Man." With development costs starting at $10 million it's also very expensive too.
Flying WIthout WIngs
Like Icarus of old we all have dreams of flying, but old Tony made it a reality, and you can too. You just need $800,000, two jet packs and enough engineering nous to adapt them so they can work inside your boots and allow you to soar, glide and hover like the man with the magic feet does. Strap on jet packs are as common as muck nowadays and everyone and their aunty appears to be flying across the English Channel on them. But flying boots? Now there's a different story. If you really want to look, feel and deceive the world into thinking you're Iron Man, then don't neglect your footwear my friend. You can tell a lot about a man by what kind of shoes he wears you know.
The Heart of the Matter
The ARC reactor and electromagnet chest piece which prevents shards of shrapnel from piercing Tony Stark's heart is also the main source of juice which powers the Iron Man suit. Obviously this is the hardest part of the jigsaw to find when transforming yourself into the Marvel superhero but theoretically at least it can still be done. The Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG) was developed by NASa for space missions and is essentially a nuclear battery that reliably converts heat into electricity. Currently the MMRTG is used for large robotic bodies and vehicles and contains 10 pounds of plutonium dioxide. So it would be a fair squeeze to make it fit into a heart-sized shape but the science is there and with a bit of tinkering and a spare $36 million dollars someone out there could really make a fist of things I'm sure.