Iron Man fans everywhere rejoice as it is now possible to fly with rocket power and a wing strapped to your back. Yves Jetman Rossy is responsible for making the flying suit which avoids bumpy landings because it uses a parachute.
The extreme sports enthusiast has flown across the English Channel and some years back tried to cross the Strait of Gibraltar from Morocco to Spain. That attempt ended in failure when Rossy ditched in the sea due to strong turbulence.
Rossy now wears a 6-ft-wide suit consisting of a carbon-Kevlar jet wing and four engines. Each engine is capable of achieving a 48-lb thrust.
The only thing Rossy uses to control his flight is a handheld throttle and an altimeter for safety purposes. Every other aspect of his flight is controlled with his body alone. He uses his shoulders, body, and legs to steer, pitch, and descend.
In 2006, the Swiss pilot Yves Rossy became the first and only man in the history of aviation to fly with a jet-propelled wing, and still is to this day.
Rossy was born on August 27th, 1959 in Switzerland. After attending an airshow and admiring military jets when he was 13, he decided that was what he wanted to do. He succeeded in becoming a military pilot, was assigned on the Hawker Hunter, and later Mirage III. After his career in the Air Force, he has worked as a captain with Swiss International Air Lines on commercial flights on Boeing and Airbus airliners.
Getting to the important question of range – eight gallons of jet fuel provides about 10 minutes of thrust. The entire suit with wing and fuel weighs a grand total of 121 pounds. Its tough to ascertain what the flying range of the suit is but it seems that to fly about 110 MPH he uses thrust about half the time meaning fuel lasts about 20 minutes or one-third of an hour or one-third of 110 miles which is roughly 35 miles.
Before you start thinking you can buy one of these suits to avoid having to use your personal helicopter, keep in mind he starts his flight from a flying vehicle such as airplane or balloon.
Could we see this suit eventually start it take-offs with a jump off a tall building? Probably. The future is certainly a cool place and perhaps the most interesting detail of this whole story is in order to fly, he had to get an exemption from wearing a seatbelt during flight.
For many travelers, the idea of flying without having to wait in an airport or taking off their shoes must sound quite liberating. Of course before such vehicles become mainstream, most travelers will likely want to know what the frequent flyer program looks like.