posted Dec 29, 2006
Yves Rossy always wanted to fly just like a bird. As a former military fighter pilot, and currently an Airbus jet captain, he certainly knows quite a bit about how airplanes fly. But Yves wanted to fly like a bird, so he designed a set of wings and attached miniature jet engines to them. There are no control surfaces—he controls the wing by moving his body.
His invention doesn’t have enough thrust to allow him to take off from the ground (yet). As an experience skydiver, the solution was clear to him. Design the wing so it can fold, and therefore allow him to jump out of an airplane just like a skydiver. After exiting the aircraft, he extends the wing to its full length and ignites the kerosene-fueled jet motors. With the engines running he can fly level at about 115 miles per hour, and even climb. Without the engines, he’s got a pretty good glider, but he uses a parachute to land after the fuel runs out.
Watch the videos of Yves “Jet Man” Rossy on his jet-man.com website. They are simply amazing.
You may also want to read the article about Jet Man in the UK’s Daily Mail newspaper.