Remember jetman (or as he was first called, "Fusion man"), the Swiss adventurer Yves Rossy who made waves with his death-defying feats? The adventurer crossed the English Channel on his custom wingsuit, and hoped to become the first person to make an intercontinental flight with a jet pack by crossing the Straits of Gibraltar -- unsuccessfully -- last year. His latest stunt was more of a victory, however.
Designed by Rossy himself, the rocket-powered wing is made of carbon fiber. With fuel it weighs around 132 pounds, and because of the dangers involved, he wears a flame retardant suit when he soars through the skies. Part of the success of the latest stunt was a redesigned, lighter weight wingsuit.
Rossy, 51, launched himself from a replica of the Breitling Orbiter -- the first balloon to be piloted nonstop around the world in 1999 -- at an altitude of 7,874 feet (2,400 meters) near Lake Geneva. Then he fired up the jets on his new -- smaller and sleeker -- wingsuit to perform the loops before landing safely with a parachute.
His wing on his back, all four jet engines turned on, Rossy leapt out of the balloon’s basket. He flew a few minutes to stabilize his wing and find the optimal angle to begin two loops.
Swiss pilot Rossy, the first man in the world to fly under a jet-fitted wing, sped through the air to perform a loop in Bercher, western Switzerland. Rossy completed two aerial loops using his custom-made jet-propelled wingsuit.
This flight has been achieved with Rossy’s new wing, smaller (2 meters instead of 2.5 meters) and with new folding parts. This new prototype, designed by Yves and the RUAG Company, possesses a better aerodynamic profile and more stability.
This stunt means Rossy's custom wings will afford more freedom to the flying man who uses only his body’s movements to steer himself in the air. After his landing, Rossy was enthusiastic. “It was fantastic! The flight went well, despite a little problem when starting my engines. I was able to do my two loopings and I am very happy!”
Swiss pilot Yves Rossy, the first man in the world to fly under a jet-fitted wing, celebrates after performing a looping in Denezy, western Switzerland. He jumped from a hot-air balloon above Lake Geneva and performed the daredevil stunt before landing safely with a parachute.
Known as Switzerland’s "Fusion Man," Rossy in November 2006 became the first man in the world to fly with wings and four jet engines strapped to his body.
In Internet videos, Rossy wears a white helmet with the words "Jet-Man" on the front, dives out of a plane, fires up his wings and propels through the atmosphere, leaving a trail of special-effects white smoke in his wake.
Rossy launched an attempt at a world record in December, 2009, in the skies above Morocco, jumping out of a light airplane from 6,500 feet above the ground. Once airborne he unleashed his wings and fired up his engines.
A rescuer dropped from a plane into the stormy seas and pulled Rossy to safety, after his jet engines sputtered and hopes of crossing the waters safely dwindled. Fortunately, Rossy was unharmed by the splash landing.
Swiss adventurer Yves Rossy jumped from a hot-air balloon and completed two aerial loops using just his custom-made wingsuit -- the first time such maneuvers have been performed.