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Jetman Flies Again

Yves Rossy leaps off the Breitling Orbiter over Switzerland.
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November 11, 2010 — Donning a new, improved, jet-powered wing, Swiss Yves Rossy, aka Jetman, successfully made two loops for the first time on November 5 after leaping off a hot air balloon in Switzerland. After strapping on a new wing design, he went up in the Esprit Breitling Orbiter balloon to about 7,900 feet altitude, dove off a platform, and started soaring through the sky, propelled by four Jet-Cat P200 engines, each producing 22 kilograms of thrust.

Rossy, a former fighter pilot, flew a few minutes to stabilize his wing and find the optimal angle to begin two loops. After a rotation in front of the balloon, he deployed his parachute to land in Denezy.

The new wing, designed by Yves and the RUAG Company, measures about 6.5 feet across – shorter than the previous 8-foot design used when Rossy crossed the English Channel two years ago – and is rigid rather than foldable. He said the new prototype possesses a better aerodynamic profile and more stability.

Upon landing, Rossy stated, “It was fantastic! The flight went well, despite a little problem when starting my engines. I was able to do my two loopings and I am very happy!”

EAA has had many requests to host Jetman at AirVenture Oshkosh and there have been some discussions about seeing how to make it happen. The hold-up lies in the fact that Rossy has developed such a unique “aircraft” that it doesn’t fit neatly into any of the existing FAA categories, but EAA has offered its assistance and expertise to help Jetman someday fly in U.S. airspace.


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