Say Hello To Jet-Man!
He's a former Swiss army pilot, current Swiss airline pilot,
and an intrepid backyard tinkerer. And now, Yves Rossy
can add one more title to his business card: Jet-man.
Rossy earned the self-bestowed title following the most recent
flight of his personal winged jetpack, when he managed to stay
aloft for more than six minutes over the Swiss Alps
before running out of fuel.
To earn the "Jet-man" title, Rossy jumped from a plane over the
Swiss Alps, deployed the pack's foldable wings, and lit up the
pack's four small jet engines. He flew at speeds greater than 100
knots, and even managed to climb slightly before popping his
parachute to float to the ground.
Rossy's jetpack is not new. In fact, he flew his first model in
2002, for about four minutes. He's made over 30 test flights since
then, gradually improving the pack to increase endurance.
Rossy wears both a main 'chute, as well as an emergency backup
that can deploy even if Rossy was unconscious.
"The idea is to have fun, not to kill yourself," Rossy said.
Although his current design can only propel a person already in
flight, eventually Rossy hopes to build a jetpack able to lift its
pilot off the ground. That would require much higher output than
the 50 lbs. of thrust each of the four engines currently
Even in its current form, it's easy to see the potential value
of Rossy's idea. Not only would it add a new and VERY exciting
element to skydiving... but it could also aid Special Forces troops
in the very near future.
Wearing jetpacks, paratroopers could jump from a transport
plane while still over friendly territory... and then fly to their
destination. Such a future "stealth" jetpack would need to have
engines MUCH quieter than Rossy's current screamers, of course...
but it's an intriguing idea.
Eventually, Rossy hopes to perfect his design, and even perform
one day at various airshows.
Is it just us, or does this thing have "AirVenture 2010" written
all over it?