“Fusionman” Soars the Skies (Gallery)

by Nancy Atkinson on May 15, 2008

A Swiss adventurer who calls himself Fusionman tried out a new jet powered carbon wing, and successfully flew for 5 minutes on May 15 before landing with a parachute. Yves Rossy, a 48-year-old former air force pilot lit the jets on his wing and then jumped from a plane over Bex, Switzerland. He is the world’s first man to fly with jet powered wings.

Rossy performed his first official demonstration of his wings, which are 2.5 meters in diameter and comes with four tiny jets. Once in full flight, Rossy can reach speeds of up to 200km/hr, but he can only stay in the air for a maximum of ten minutes due to the small fuel capacity of his jets.

Rossy, who now works for the Swiss airline, first unveiled his design in 2004. Today he flew like a rocketeer above the Swiss Alps.

Rossy hasn’t always had an easy ride though — during one jump in 2005, he lost control of his wing and didn’t open his parachute until he was just 500 meters above ground.

Since first designing his wing, Rossy has performed more than 30 motorized flights, improving this first prototype with the help of his team. He’s looking to one day have take-off capability with his jet-powered wings. His motto for his test flights: “Always have Plan B ready.”

For more information about Fusionman, see his website. , or the English version

Original News Source: Brisbane Times, AFP


Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also works with Astronomy Cast, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

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