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In an act that can only be described as brave (or lunatic), Jetman (A.K.A. Yves Rossy) strapped on his custom-built, still experimental jet-powered wings, flew to about 8,000 feet over Bercher, Switzerland, and, on November 5th, completed a single loop before parachuting back to the ground.
Calling himself “Jetman”, Rossy started with inflatable wings in 1999 and switched to a rigid construction and jet engines in 2004, making his first two successful flights in 2005. Today, Rossy flies with the assistance of 2-meter carbon-fiber wings and four jet engines–all strapped to his back and controls the direction of the solo-flying device with his own body. To complete the historic flight, Rossy had to jump out of the “Esprit Breitling Orbiter” hot-air balloon. This act lays the ground-work (or is it air-work?) for future, more aerobatic flights, and Rossy hopes to one day take off from the ground. Previously, and with a somewhat larger prototype, Jetman flew across the English Channel.
According to Rossy’s web site, the looping flight was “fantastic”. On the other hand, he did experience a bit of trouble at the very beginning of the flight when he had a little problem “starting my engines”. Oh, is that all? I thought it might be something serious like Not…Being…Able…to…Start…Your…Engines.
Above is a photo of Rossy making the death-defying leap from the hot air balloon. No video from this flight is currently available, but you can entertain yourself watching a previous successful Jetman flight.
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