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Monday, May 19, 2008

FusionMan: Soaring Over the Alps On Homemade Jet Wings

FusionMan

Have you heard about the rocket man? The rocket man is for real! A Swiss pilot has become the first person to fly with nothing but a wing and a jet engine strapped to his back, hurtling above the Alps at 300km/h for nearly 10 minutes.

Yves Rossy strapped on a jet-powered wing and leaped from a plane Wednesday for the first public demonstration of the homemade device, turning figure eights and soaring high above the Alps. Rossy's performance in front of the world press capped 5 years of training and many more years of dreaming (so do not try this at home!)

Watch the following YouTube video:



"This flight was absolutely excellent," the former fighter pilot and extreme sports enthusiast said after touching down on an airfield near the eastern shore of Lake Geneva.

Rossy, 48 years old, had stepped out of the Swiss-built Pilatus Porter aircraft at 7,500 feet and unfolded the rigid eight-foot wings strapped to his back before jumping. Passing from free fall to a gentle glide, Rossy then triggered four jet turbines and accelerated to 186 mph, about 65 miles per hour faster than the typical falling skydiver. A plane that flew at some distance beside him measured his speed.

The crowd on the mountaintop below gasped and cheered. Rossy's mother, who was among the spectators, told journalists she felt no fear. "He knows what he's doing," Paule Rossy said of her son, who now flies commercial planes for Swiss airlines.

Rossy's spent several years developing the carbon fiber wing, which is eight feet long and features four German jet engines that provide 200 pounds of thrust. Rossy and his sponsors, which include the Swiss watch company Hublot, have spent $285,000 on the project, and with no plans to bring the wing to market.

Read Also:
FusionMan (Official Website)
Swiss man soars above Alps with jet-powered wing (Associated Press)
Soaring Over the Alps on Homemade Jet Wings (Wired)

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