Jetman is the culmination of 25 years of innovation and is set on the path to achieving what has long been thought as impossible. Driven by his desire to “fly like a bird,” Swiss military-trained pilot and aviation enthusiast, Yves Rossy, designed and built what is today known as the Jet-wing.
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Rossy’s backpack jetwings won’t be hitting the shops soon, though. The only controls or instruments are a throttle and an audible altimeter – the wing is steered using the body, and given his long history of crackups this plainly isn’t easy even for Rossy. A flameproof suit is necessary to avoid leg burns from the jet exhaust, too. The only way of launching is to jump from a (great) height. Landing is by folding the wings and parachuting down – yet more skills to be mastered. (The latest wing has its own landing chute which deploys if it has to be jettisoned, which should ease the future development path somewhat).
The main application would seem to be stunts like yesterday’s – or perhaps for certain highly unusual/barmy special-forces missions. Spelco, a military parachute company in Germany, is working on its “Gryphon” backpack deltaplane – an easier to operate, low-radar-signature, long-ranging version of Rossy’s concept.
The Estimated Price is about $285,000