Jet-Man is Here

It’s a bird. It’s a plane. No, it’s Jet-man! – a.k.a. Yves Rossy, former Swiss army pilot, currently Swiss airline pilot, and inventor who developed a working model of a personal winged jetpack. Jet-man jumped from a small plane over the Swiss Alps, opened his foldable wings, and propelled by four small jet engines, flew six and a half minutes til he ran out of fuel, opened his parachute, and landed successfully.

Rossy first flew his jetpack in 2002, when he initially achieved a distance of 1600 m in about four minutes of horizontal flight at over 100 knots. Since then, in over 30 test flights, he gradually improved his model, reaching the six and a half minute record in his latest test flight, with a slight climb rate to boot.

Rossy’s new jetpack has carbon wings with a 3 m wingspan, weighs about 40 kg, and can only propel a person who is already in flight – Rossy is hoping that his next jetpack model with more powerful engines will enable him to lift off from the ground. Each of the four jetpack engines can produce a thrust of 22 kg using kerosene fuel, enough for a ten minute flight. Besides his regular landing parachute, were Rossy ever to lose consciousness, a security parachute, which would open 250 m above the ground, is in place.

Needless to say, Rossy’s jetpack has enormous recreational potential, but it could also prove to be of great military value. Future Special Forces could use stealth jetpacks to covertly infiltrate enemy airspace and escape immeadiately afterwards without a trace.

More images and a video of his latest flight can be viewed on Yves Rossy’s website.

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