Since Yves “Jetman” Rossy burst onto the scene with his Jetwing, he’s been the only person to ever fly the rocket-propelled device, until now.
Rossy’s Jetman was constructed using a tapered wing made of Kevlar and carbon fiber. By strapping the device to his back, the four small turbine engines use kerosene fuel to propel Rossy through the air. Rossy controls the thrust with a hand-held throttle and controls his flight path through body movements.
We’ve followed the Jetman’s aerial show from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to his flight in the skies above Switzerland, where he said hello to passengers in a Breitling Douglas DC-3 vintage aircraft flying nearby.
Since Rossy started flying his custom designed Jetwing in 2006, no one else has dared to strap it on. Until a couple weeks ago, that is, when another Adrenalist tried out the Jetman under the careful tutelage of Rossy.
After training with Rossy for two years – which included 60 or so non-powered flights - Vince Reffet of Soul Flyers fame, an experienced B.A.S.E jumper and skydiver from France, learned the ways of the Jetman. On Monday, Jun. 17, Reffet became the second person ever to fly the Jetman wing.
Aside from the Brazil and Switzerland flights, Rossy has also flown over a section of the Grand Canyon, which the public was not allowed to view, and the English Channel. In 2009, Rossy had to bail on a flight into the Ocean because of weather and strong wings while attempting to cross the Straight of Gibraltar.
Rossy is scheduled to make his first public flight in the U.S.A at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh from Jul. 29 – Aug. 4, and he plans to fly an exhibition at the Reno Air Races from Sep. 11-15.