One Man, Two Jet Engines, One Nine-Foot Wing
...Three months ago. A Swissair Airbus pilot has added a whole new meaning to the phrase "Gotta jet." Yves Rossy says he spent four minutes swooping over the Bex in western Switzerland (in horizontal flight) attached to a three-meter carbon wing with two miniature jet engines attached. Controls include ailerons, plus a mechanism to move the entire wing fore and aft on his back. According to his Web site, the flight(s) (three that day) occurred June 24 and began at more than 12,000 feet with a jump and a horizontal cruise portion at roughly 5,000 feet (OK, we're still working on the translation). But for some reason he waited until last week to tell the media. Maybe he was still shaking too much. (Maybe he was waiting on paperwork from the patent office.) With the 40-kg carbon-fiber wings attached, Rossy jumped from a Pilatus Porter and hit the ignition, waited thirty seconds for the engines to stabilize and hit the throttle. He claims to have flown horizontally at about 112 mph for the four minutes at roughly 5,000 feet, shutting the engines down due to strong turbulence with half the fuel still in tanks. He then folded teh wings and landed by parachute. Rossy's already at work on his next project, a jet-powered set of wings that he can launch from the ground. And just to prove he really has stars in his eyes, Rossy told the Daily Mirror he sees potential for the contraption in Hollywood. "It would be a great device for James Bond so he can go behind enemy lines," he said.