The sky is not the limit

Look up to the heavens and you may see more than clouds and planes. People are, quite literally, becoming jet set

Almost every week, photos and video clips emerge of daredevils taking to the atmosphere. They hop over buildings, jump from planes or vertigo-inducing floors and, to include a recent example, fly above water and sand. But what is it about scaling extreme heights or defying gravity that appeals, when for some, simply scrolling through the selfies is enough to make hands sweat and hearts race?

The sky is boundless and provides an unparalleled opportunity to experience creative human formations, which in turn create an extraordinary feeling

Vince Reffet, Junior Jetman

“The sky is boundless and provides an unparalleled opportunity to experience creative human formations, which in turn create an extraordinary feeling,” said Vince Reffet, a regular visitor to the skies.

The 30-year-old Frenchman has before base-jumped from the Burj Khalifa, the building of superlatives. In mid-May, he joined Yves Rossy, or ‘Jetman’, to soar over Dubai in a jetpack – a feat that has seen him dubbed ‘Junior Jetman’. Their flight earned them a new record: it marked the first ever twin human formation.

“To be able to learn from the first man in the world to fly with a jet-powered wing is an honour. I’m privileged to learn from Yves and together we dream to go higher and fly together,” said Reffet.

Their flight lasted 13 minutes, with an average speed of 200 kilometres per hour.

Yves Rossy (Jetman) and Vince Reffet (Junior Jetman), equipped with wings, enter the helicopter from which they will jump
Yves Rossy (left) with his new protégé Vince ahead of their flight

Rossy, a professional pilot and skydiver who developed the wing, is from Switzerland and now lives in Dubai.

“To fly alone is great. But to fly with another guy is much greater,” Rossy told fans after the flight.

Later, he added: “Establishing our headquarters in Dubai gives us access to world-class facilities including Skydive Dubai which will enable us to take Jetman Dubai and the development of our new wing to its next stage. Jetman is the culmination of over 20 years of innovation and has resulted in achieving my personal dream to fly free, soaring through the sky. This move to Dubai has opened the doors to the next chapter."

Watch the video of the jet men, and click through the gallery to see their journey and examples of skyscraper soaring in other cities