It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, No, It’s Jet Man!

Oct 4, 2011 9:41am

Yves Rossy has been called “Jet Man,” “Rocket Man,” and “Fusion Man.”

Now he can add record-breaker, again, to his growing list of titles.

The 52-year-old Swiss daredevil flew across the Swiss Alps last Wednesday, alongside two L-39 Albatros planes.

The catch?

He wasn’t in a plane.

Instead, Rossy flew the route in his self-designed jet-pack, making him the first human being to ever fly in formation with high-speed aircraft without sitting inside.

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ABC News

The 8-foot, carbon-fiber-wing jet-pack that powered Rossy hit speeds of about 142 mph during the flight, allowing him to keep pace with the accompanying planes, which generally take off at around 126 mph.

Rossy, and his jet-pack, which he wears on his back, maintained the formation with the two L-39 Albatros jets for about two minutes.

“It was just fabulous!” said aerospace photographer Alain Ernoult, who captured Rossy’s record-making flight in the sky. “A new page in the history of aviation was written.”

Rossy, an experienced aviator who piloted Mirage III supersonic fighter jets for 17 years with the Swiss Air Force, in 2006 became the first person to achieve sustained flight using a jet-powered wing strapped to his back during a nearly six minute and nine second flight in his native Switzerland.

He’s flown about 500 times since then, including a successful flight across the Grand Canyon in May.

Rossy’s 120-lb. jet -pack device, powered by four Jet-Cat P200 engines and modified from large-model aircraft engines, has also powered the aviator across both The English Channel, in 2008, and Lake Geneva, in 2002.

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