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Yven Rossy has recently achieved what many just read about in cartoon magazines and movies. With his latest adventure in the sky, flying across the channel from France to England, he has brought to life and cemented the concept of a “Jet Man”.
Before being part of a plane, Yves served as a fighter and a commercial pilot. He is now the first person to build and the first person to successfully fly a jet engine-powered wing strapped to the back.
Rossy developed and built a winged pack with solid aeroplane-type carbon-fiber wings, having a span of approximately 8 feet (2.4 m), and four small kerosene-burning jet engines under the wings; these engines are large versions of the ones used for model aeroplanes. Rossi wears a heat-resistant suit, such as worn by firefighters or racing drivers, to protect him from the hot jet exhaust. In his trip over the British Channel, he reached a top speed of 186mph.
After being lifted by a plane, Rossy jumps out with his wings folded, unfolds them while in free-fall, turns on the engine and navigates using his body movements and hand throttle, then lands using a parachute.
His first successful trial was on 24 June 2004, near Geneva, Switzerland, and Rossy has made more than 30 powered flights since.
A similar trip across the Channel, 99 years ago, helped launch the era of mass aviation — just prior to World War I, and spurring innovation in plane designs. Now we’ll see how mass produced this latest innovation can realistically become.