‘Jetman’ Makes The Dream of Human Flight Real


The famous Jetman burst onto the world stage in his 2008 English Channel crossing.  Yves Rossy has been making the dream of human flight real ever since demonstrating his homemade jet pack.

The 4 jet pack wing is 2 meters wide, weighs 55 kilograms and is able to achieve 200 km/hr.  The jet pack allows Yves Rossy to fly like Iron Man using his body as an integrated flight surface with a powered wing,

See Jetman fly over Dubai in the video below:

Yves has always dedicated himself to experimental flight in all its forms. His dream has always been to fly in the purest form possible by minimising the constraints of enclosure in an aircraft shell. Drawn initially to the world of free fall, he experimented with ways in which to increase his flight time and enhance his ability to select his trajectory; essentially moving away from falling towards flight: sky surfing and wingsuiting only whet his appetite further.

The Jetman in flight over Mt. Fuji Japan.
The Jetman in flight over Mt. Fuji Japan.

He developed his first real wing, comprising a rigid harness integrated into inflatable wing panels, that he strapped to his back. This surpassed all other innovation in prolonging free fall but was still not close enough to his goal of human flight. The next step was towards maintaining and gaining altitude by improving efficiency with a rigid wing and adding propulsion.  Yves chose to go with model jet turbines, at first 2 of them, allowing him to maintain level flight in 2005, and then 4 to finally conquer the 3rd dimension in 2006. These flights were not conducted within an enclosed space with mechanical controls and instruments, but by manipulating his body as an extension to the wing. This achievement was the culmination of 10 years of development and more than 15 prototypes.

Video footage of the Jetman flying over Switzerland:

The only instrumentation he had was altimeter and a hand-held throttle. Since then, Yves Rossy has been working constantly to optimise his wing’s handling and performance. JETMAN first came to the world’s attention in May 2008 with his first official flight over the Swiss Alps. An incredulous public sat up and took note. In September 2008, 99 years after the first crossing of the English Channel by air, he followed the path of Louis Blériot, achieving an amazing flight that was broadcast live to 165 countries and widely covered by the media worldwide. Yves Rossy became legendary – even though, from his perspective, he has just opened the door on the realms of possibility…