Tuesday January 2 2007 / Science & Technology
Man can fly; well at least one man can with the aid of a small pair of wings and four jet engines. Swiss pilot Yves Rossy has flown most of his life: as a professional fighter pilot in the Swiss airforce; as a commercial 747 pilot; and even as a skydiver with over 1000 jumps. However, his dream was to really fly so for the last six years he has been making that dream come true. Now with the aid of a stubby pair of wings and four small jets engines he really is flying . . . and fast! At the moment he drops out of a plane before starting his mini jets; however, his aim is to be able take off from the ground. An ambitious goal that makes me wonder just how fast he can run.
His web site www.jet-man.com is in French but is easily navigated and has has a number of interesting and exciting videos.
There is a good article The Times here and this video here will give you a flavour of what he gets up to.
Apparently Rossy's biggest problem getting airborne was not technical but getting permisson from the authorities. They did not know whether to categorize him as a bird, a plane or . . . .