The Ultimate Personal Jet?
While it may not be exactly what more traditional aircraft makers have in mind for the term, it would be hard to argue the definition with Yves Rossy. The 47-year-old adventurer, who made headlines two years ago by gliding across the English Channel with a pair of strap-on wings, has taken the natural evolution of that feat and added power -- and plenty of it -- to his birdman exploits. For the past couple of years he’s been tinkering with model jet engines and earlier this year felt ready to demonstrate their remarkable effectiveness with the fold-out, strap-on wings that he’d developed earlier and produced a pretty interesting video of his exploits. Rossy has swooped around for six minutes or more after first dropping from a skydiving airplane. Human landing gear is a little tender for the landing speed that would be required so recovery is via parachute. Still, the video shows a man fully in control of himself as an integral part of his flying machine, and it sure looks like fun.