November 6, 2015
These days, the Swiss pilot and aviation enthusiast Yves Rossy’s name is synonymous with jetpacks. In fact, he’s more colloquially known as ‘Jetman‘ because he’s credited with the invention of individual jetpacks that use carbon fiber wings to sustain flight. I recently came across an insanely cool video of him and wingman Vince Reffet flying their jetpacks above the skies of Dubai.
In an article on Wired UK, they said that Rossy “has taken the boundaries of human flight to another level – by flying alongside the world’s largest commercial aircraft”. That is, Rossy and Reffet legitimately flew their jetpacks alongside an Emirates A380 aircraft:
For scale, they’re both around six feet tall while the aircraft is about 238 feet long with a wingspan of 261 feet. The entire plan is beyond impressive, check it out. And, as Wired UK reports, it’s not the first time they’ve done a stunt like this. Earlier in the year the two pilots flew over the Emirati desert before jumping into a helicopter:
Rossy has been designing jetpacks since 2008, but his current model has taken about 20 years to fully develop to this point. He has yet to perfect stand still take off, opting instead for the jetpack wearer to jump out of a plane or helicopter to get going, much like skydiving.
What’s more, Rossy has completed flights with average speeds of 125 miles per hour. Just to give you a taste of how that stacks up to other fast things, the Bugatti Veyron is the fastest car out there and reaches a top speed of 267 mph.
This is an incredibly entrepreneurial effort by Rossy and Reffet for a lot of reasons, mainly for it’s innovative and bold departure from what the majority of humans would call “normal”. Let’s not forget that to build something like this though Rossy had to iterate multiple designs, collaborate with various other people and companies, and present his results to the rest of the community.
Also, this means jetpacks might be a thing sooner rather than later, and that’s awesome.
Image Credit: Jetman video
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