Tech Watch: the jet-propelled wing

Yves Rossy – aka Jetman – is the first person in the history of aviation to fly with a jet-propelled wing. Last year, he was filmed flying over the desert outside Dubai

In 2006, after 10 years of development and more than 15 prototypes, Yves Rossy’s jet-propelled wing lifted him into the skies for a total of five minutes and 40 seconds. For his second flight, in 2008, he became the first man to cross the English Channel with a jet-pack. He can now travel at an impressive 200km per hour.

 I built this wing to make my dream become a reality: to fly like a bird

Yves Rossy, Pilot

“Flying is a passion. I’ve always wanted to fly since I was a child,” the Swiss pilot says. “I had the idea to build a wing after discovering skydiving. I enjoyed it and I wanted to keep the same feeling, but with flight. I built this wing to make my dream become a reality: to fly like a bird.”

Last year, Jetman was filmed flying 5,000 feet above the desert outside Dubai in an incredible formation flight with aerobatics champion Veres Zoltán.

Specs:

– The four Jet-Cat P200 jet engines aren’t fired until he’s in free-fall, having jumped from a plane

– The only instruments Rossy has to work are an altimeter and a hand-held throttle

– The two-metre-long carbon-fibre wing is quite heavy, weighing in at 55kg

– The four engines  provide roughly 50 pounds of thrust each