I posted the story of the Jet Wing back in January, but since Yves Rossy just made his first public demonstration of the jet-powered wing, he's back in the news. Rossy and sponsors spent over $285,000 perfecting the thing, and he recently flew that shit for a gathered crowd of media before landing on the eastern shore of Lake Geneva (via parachute). Rossi wants to try crossing the English Channel later this year, and eventually fly through the Grand Canyon.
Rossy stepped out of the Swiss-built Pilatus Porter aircraft at 7,500 feet, unfolded the rigid 8-foot wings strapped to his back and dropped. Passing from free fall to a gentle glide, Rossy then triggered four jet turbines and accelerated to 186 miles an hour as a crowd on the mountaintop below gasped -- then cheered.
Steering only with his body, Rossy dived, turned and soared again, flying what appeared to be effortless loops from one side of the Rhone valley to the other. At times he rose 2,600 feet before descending again with a trail of special-effects smoke in his wake.
Ah yes, smoke effects, what a showman.
"It's like a second skin," he later told reporters. "If I turn to the left, I fly left. If I nudge to the right, I go right."
Oh yeah Rossi, just like a second skin. Except, you know, it's a rigid 8-foot wing with four jet engines attached. But besides that, yeah, just like a pair of tighty whities.
Video of Rossi and the wing in action after the jump.
Thanks to Pat, Jamie James the Third, Victoria, and Shawn for making me wish I was Condorman, but with jets