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Transportation Toys

Swiss Man Flies With Jet Powered Wing 247

Posted by timothy
from the no-passenger-airbags-no-hybrid-engine dept.
NotBornYesterday writes "After spending $190,000 and 'countless hours' building a set of jet-powered wings, a Swiss man has successfully demoed this ultimate mother-of-all-toys. After jumping from a plane like a skydiver, he then lit the four jet engines and proceeded to fly around a valley in the Alps at up to 186 miles per hour. His site is here, if you want to see shots of him in action. 'I still haven't used the full potential,' he said."
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Swiss Man Flies With Jet Powered Wing

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  • OFN? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @05:34PM (#23411024)
    This news is AT LEAST several months old!

    Here are some youtube clips of him:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-66AcTo9TU

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEXxkWXncuo
    • Re:OFN? (Score:5, Informative)

      by vtscott (1089271) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @05:44PM (#23411156)
      To be fair, the yahoo article is dated today. I'm guessing that this is "new news" because it was the first public demonstration:

      A Swiss pilot strapped on a jet-powered wing and leaped from a plane Wednesday for the first public demonstration of the homemade device, turning figure eights and soaring high above the Alps.
      Those videos likely came from private practice runs. Now it seems they're confident enough with the device that they'll do live public demos.
    • Man, you just don't get the slashdot zeitgeist. Old news is an essential part of the whole experience.

      PS: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fLOgMQon7c [youtube.com]
      • by zobier (585066)
        Rocket Bird is awesome!

        <span style="voice-accent: 'eastern european'"> I like flying<span>
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by argent (18001)
          I liked his "fuel tanks", too. Puncture one of those in flight, have your jet fuel soaking down your leg from a bladder belted to your belly towards a running jet engine strapped to your foot... great balls of fire!
    • Re:OFN? (Score:5, Funny)

      by at_slashdot (674436) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @09:43PM (#23413366)
      That's nothing, I'm pretty sure that I've seen Wile E. Coyote using such a product designed by Acme long time ago...
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by DeeQ (1194763)
        This news was about the successful use of the product. IIRC Wile E. Coyote was not very successful with many products.
  • Well... (Score:3, Funny)

    by BlueStrat (756137) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @05:35PM (#23411034)
    I for one welcome our new jet-winged Swiss overlord.

    Cheers!

    Strat

    FP?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @05:39PM (#23411086)
    This ought to be fun. Might even turn into a sport or extreme recreational activity. But just remember what happened to the last person who got too close the sun ...
  • Jetpack! (Score:5, Funny)

    by vecctor (935163) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @05:44PM (#23411154)
    This is the one time where people could legitimately use the term "jetpack" and then the submitter and TFA choose not to!

    Looks very cool.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @05:46PM (#23411192)
    "The German-built model aircraft engines he currently uses already provide 200 pounds of thrust, enough to allow Rossy and his 120-pound flying suit to climb through the air."

    So... he weighs less than 80 pounds?
  • by StefanJ (88986) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @05:48PM (#23411218) Homepage Journal
    I wonder if these things show up on radar. And how easy they'd be to shoot down. Because they'd make dandy kamikaze weapons.

    • Doubtful they'd show up.

      Check out HALO jumps for the use of this thing. Basically, normal plane files up to restricted air space and does a hard turn. Crazy military types bail out and using the momentum from the turn are flung into restricted air space. They then free fall below terrain level before opening chute e.g. into a valley. This means they could probably get further from the departure point. Also they can avoid the sides of the valley which seems to be a problem currently.

      What I'm wondering i
      • by blhack (921171)

        What I'm wondering if these things have a throttle? If so is a landing possible without chute?
        I would imagine that without a landing gear of some sort (i don't there there are TOO many people that can run as fast as that thing needs to go to generate enough lift to stay airborne) it would be only slightly more difficult than landing an F-16 with its nose pointed to the sky and its thrust nozzles laying on the tarmac.
    • Not really enough mass to do good damage. Bug splat kamikaze pilots don't really make the same statement as fighter jets, and even 747's plowing through the target.
    • I wonder if these things show up on radar. And how easy they'd be to shoot down. Because they'd make dandy kamikaze weapons.
      "He's fast, I'll give him that, but one heat seeking missile and he's history. [dvpalumbo.com]"
    • Depends what he made the wing out of. If it was fiberglass and/or composites, then probably not very well. If it was metal construction (I don't think it is), then it'll show up fine. It flies at like 200mph max I guess, so it reenters the realm of human aimed guns.
    • A Cessna would be cheaper. Just take off from an unpopulated area and keep low. Range would also be better, more payload, too.

      In other words, no need for the paranoid thoughts.
  • by HydraSwitch (184123) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @05:57PM (#23411320) Homepage
    'I still haven't used the full potential,' he said.

    Feh.

    Definitely famous last words.
  • misread it (Score:5, Funny)

    by B3ryllium (571199) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @06:13PM (#23411480) Homepage
    I initially misread it as "Jet Powered Wang".
  • by geekoid (135745)
    That invention is full of holes.

    What?
  • how exactly does this guy land?
    • Well... very carefully of course.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Deadstick (535032)
      With a parachute.

      rj
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by TekPolitik (147802)

      how exactly does this guy land?

      He cuts the engines and opens a parachute. The more concerning issue is the major bane of jet powered flight - bird hits. At the speed they are talking about, a bird hitting this guy in the head, even with a helmet, stands a good chance of knocking him out. Then you're going to have a dead bird as well as a dead wing-rider.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Red Flayer (890720)

        The more concerning issue is the major bane of jet powered flight - bird hits. At the speed they are talking about, a bird hitting this guy in the head, even with a helmet, stands a good chance of knocking him out. Then you're going to have a dead bird as well as a dead wing-rider.

        Meh... hook up some monitoring systems and have the parachute autodeploy. So he has to get some reconcstructive surgery... big whoop.

        The bigger concern, I would think, would be avoiding the amorous attentions of Rodan [wikia.com]. No amoun

        • The bigger concern, I would think, would be avoiding the amorous attentions of Rodan [wikia.com]. No amount of plastic surgery is going to help you cope with THAT.
          The trick is to get Mothra to keep Rodan in his place.

          Speaking of which, have you seen miniature Japanese twin girls anywhere recently?
      • Re:Landing? (Score:5, Informative)

        by c6gunner (950153) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @08:11PM (#23412628)

        At the speed they are talking about, a bird hitting this guy in the head, even with a helmet, stands a good chance of knocking him out. Then you're going to have a dead bird as well as a dead wing-rider.


        Naw. You've got the same problem with motorcycles - a buddy of mine had TWO birds hit him almost simultaneously, while he was doing 200+ mph. One nailed him in the head, cracking the face-shield, while the other one turned itself into jello inside the bike's headlight. Not only did it not knock him out, but he even managed to retain control of the bike.

        Most birds don't have much weight, and modern helmets are built with some heavy-impact in mind (no pun intended). You'd have to hit a friggin condor to get knocked out.
      • The more concerning issue is the major bane of jet powered flight - bird hits. At the speed they are talking about, a bird hitting this guy in the head, even with a helmet, stands a good chance of knocking him out. Then you're going to have a dead bird as well as a dead wing-rider.
        Speaking as a biker who recently saw a very bewildered pigeon zoom very close by, I'd say the bane is not restricted to jets.
    • Re:Landing? (Score:5, Funny)

      by Yvan256 (722131) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @07:04PM (#23412006) Homepage Journal
      I don't know how, but he only does it once.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by ScrewMaster (602015)
        Well, they say that any landing you can walk away from is a good one. If you can re-use the aircraft, it's a great one.
  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @06:27PM (#23411624)

    at up to 186 miles per hour.

    I gather that this number makes some sense in metric.

  • I will not be fully impressed until he can land on his own two feet and take off with little more than a running jump.
  • Uh oh (Score:5, Funny)

    by Ihmhi (1206036) <i_have_mental_health_issues@yahoo.com> on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @07:04PM (#23412008)

    Hobgoblin in 3... 2...

  • I do have one concern, though: Those turbines don't appear to have any protection in from of them, and the inside ones look like they are in range of his hands (perhaps the photo is lying). I imagine an ex-fighter pilot has his wits about him, but if I was flying it, I'd be worried about losing my fingers in a moment of stupidity and forgetfulness.

    My only other concern: When can I buy one?
    • by Tablizer (95088)
      Those turbines don't appear to have any protection in from of them, and the inside ones look like they are in range of his hands...I'd be worried about losing my fingers in a moment of stupidity and forgetfulness

      "I'm the King of the Wor......AAaaaahhhhrrrrgggg!!"
               
  • by catdevnull (531283) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @09:43PM (#23413358)
    Didn't I see Wyle E. Coyote with one of these?

    If the Swiss man flew this into a mountain side with a tunnel painted on it, I wouldn't be surprised at all.
  • Cobra! (Score:3, Informative)

    by csoto (220540) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @10:26PM (#23413706)
    Cobra Commander had one almost exactly like that. The dude needs a shiny metallic facemask! Cobra always was much cooler than G.I. Joe (except possibly Snake Eyes).
  • by Animats (122034) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @10:54PM (#23413848) Homepage

    Small jet engines have been an elusive goal for decades. They can be built, but the cost doesn't go down much below bizjet size. That's why general aviation is still piston-powered.

    This guy is using four model aircraft jet engines. Probably ones like this. [jetcatusa.com] They're somewhat marginal devices, needing an overhaul every 25 hours. (For aviation jet engines, that number is usually at least 1000 hours.) Good thing he carries a parachute.

  • by sudog (101964)
    A guy with a wingsuit strapped jet boots to his feet and flew with them first--without a huge clunky stupid-looking glider thing.

    here [youtube.com] go check it out.

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