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article imageMan Flies Over Alps With Jet Pack

By Gar Swaffar     May 15, 2008 in Science
Flying over the Alps with four model airplane engines and a single wing was a demonstration of the jet pack developed by Yves Rossy.
They call him the Fusion Man, Yves Rossy is a former Swiss air force fighter pilot, and currently flies an Airbus for Swiss International Air Lines. But that is just his day job, the one which pays the bills, his real passion is flying without the airplane.
Since 2006 when he first took to the sky with four engines and a wing, he has worked on perfecting the machine he used on Wednesday to cross the Alps near Lake Geneva his landing zone.
While crisscrossing the Rhone valley he was able to perform maneuvers showing the machines seemingly effortless capabilities. At one point he even did a full 360 degree back roll, a maneuver even birds don't try.
The flight on Wednesday was the first full blown test in front of the world press and began when he stepped out of a Pilatus Porter aircraft at an altitude of 7,500 feet. After unfolding the wings which span eight feet he began the maneuvers that thrilled the crowd below, which included his mother Paule Rossy. She told journalists she had no fear for her son, "He knows what he is doing"
Rossy has even bigger plans for his invention, he wants to cross the English Channel with it. The entire crossing will cover 22 miles and will be carried live on television. The machine Rossy has built has a built in parachute, with an automatic activation if he passes out while in flight.
Rossy said he intends to practise over dry land between two hot air balloons before attempting the Channel crossing later this year.
And he also has a desire to fly the American Grand Canyon. That flight would need larger, more powerful engines to be fitted to the wing. Just in case you're wondering, don't plan on rushing out to buy one of the machines yet. Rossy and his sponsors have spent nearly US$ 190,000 and don't have plans for mass production yet. The thrill ride of flying without the aircraft will have to wait a bit longer.
More about Yves rossy, Fusion man, Alps, Iron man
 
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