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Rocketman Takes Off In Custom-Made Wingsuit 73

disco_tracy writes "Yves Rossy, the Swiss adventurer who has already flown across the English Channel using a winged jet-pack, pulled off another exploit Friday, flying two aerial loops in a new version of his invention. Rossy, who was testing a new, more aerodynamic model of the jet-pack, jumped from a hot-air balloon at 2,400 meters (7,900 feet) and performed the stunt during an 18-minute flight before making a parachute landing." The BBC has some video of his flight, and the Washington Post put up a handful of pictures.
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Rocketman Takes Off In Custom-Made Wingsuit

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  • And I think it's gonna be a long, long time before touchdown brings him 'round again to find
    He's not the man they think he is at home, no no, no no

  • Cool (Score:5, Insightful)

    by galvanash ( 631838 ) on Saturday November 06, 2010 @10:55AM (#34147158)

    I have nothing snarky to say. That was just cool.

  • That was... falling with style! [go.com]
  • Jumped from a balloon and landed with a parachute.

    Just figure out that launch and land from the ground thing, then we'll have the ultimate traffic beater!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by owlstead ( 636356 )

      Absolutely, can't see any issue with jet powered individuals flying over crowded areas.

      • by Yvanhoe ( 564877 )
        I can only see one : I need a way to scrub the blood and bones from my roof. Seriously, if people crash in these suits in a crowded area, the probability that they kill someone else than themselves is small. Actually smaller than with cars that frequently use the same roads as pedestrians.
    • Rollerblades. Or one of those skeleton luge suits with the wheels...
    • Just figure out that launch and land from the ground thing, then we'll have the ultimate traffic beater!

      If this is the guy I'm remembering, the landing part is the ultimate goal of his experiments. With the wing, the wearer can turn the downward speed into horizontal speed. Then use the horizontal speed to give more lift canceling out the remaining vertical speed with reduction of horizontal speed. Thus, if timing it correctly, the wearer could stall out right at ground level and basically just step down to

      • Hang gliders have already solved the landing problem, and it's exactly as you described. Their advantage there, though, is that their wings are large, and their speeds are low, specially at stall. Rossi's wing is small, so he needs to fly fast just to keep from stalling. He'd need to develop something to provide extra lift at low speeds, like, say, trailing-edge flaps.

        • The thing is I did a lot of hang gliding 20 or so years ago and the landings you describe were very easy. But about a year ago I was watching these guys flying at a coastal site in Australia (I helped one guy with his launch because he had run out of helpers) and every single landing on the beach resulted in a face plant. Just a small increase in stall speed makes that trick impossible.

    • Jumped from a balloon and landed with a parachute.

      Just figure out that launch and land from the ground thing, then we'll have moved the traffic problem into the air!

      F _ _ Y

  • Wow (Score:2, Informative)

    That's one cool motherf#cker...
  • He's got a rigid carbon fibre wing strapped to his back, with jets attached to it. I'd call that a powered hang glider, not a wingsuit.

  • by tverbeek ( 457094 ) on Saturday November 06, 2010 @11:17AM (#34147266) Homepage

    TFA calls him "the first winged person to make a successful crossing of the Channel".

    That's not counting Hawkman's attempt in All-Star Comics #16, which was thwarted by the Luftwaffe, forcing him to land in Guernsey. :)

    • Uhm ... by your own account ("thwarted") Hawkman failed at crossing the Channel, making Rocketman the first to successfully cross the Channel.

      • One might argue that Guernsey hugs the coast of France close enough to count as "crossing the Channel".

        If I hadn't made the whole thing up, that is, in a somewhat feeble joke on the notion of a "winged person".

  • Now everybody will want jet powered wings to save money on gas.
    • by swb ( 14022 )

      And thanks to Amish craftsmen, you can have jet powered wings and save money on gas.

      And if you call today, we'll give you two sets!

  • inaccurate (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    One, it's not a wing suit. It's a suit with a hard wing attached to it. Sure, technically, that could be called a wingsuit (or maybe a winged suit) but wingsuit has typically come to mean the flying squirrel type suits.

    Two, he did not do two loops. He did two ROLLS.

  • by sizzzzlerz ( 714878 ) on Saturday November 06, 2010 @11:27AM (#34147326)

    if these suits were commercially available and people used them. We'd have people falling out of the sky like live turkeys being thrown from the traffic helicopter by Les Nessman in the old WKRP in Cincinnati [wikipedia.org] TV show.

    ** As god is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly! **

    • Ah.. recalling that moment never gets old. Truly one of the funniest bits I can remember from TV of that age. Of course thinking of this show raises the question... do you go for Jennifer or Bailey? For me it's Bailey all the way.

    • While this was comedy, it just goes to illustrate what people think is true isn't always the case. Turkeys can, in fact, fly. [wikipedia.org] It's more like the Wright brothers' flight: not really sustainable over long distances, but enough to be called flight.

      Still.. funny, nonetheless!
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Muad'Dave ( 255648 )

        Turkeys can, in fact, fly.

        But they can't land for squat. I watched one come in for a landing while hunting, and I must say that had to hurt - he hit the ground and proceeded to blast through some underbrush like a bowling ball.

  • An retired inventor, once intrepid, sheds a single tear. Old memories [wordpress.com], indeed [wordpress.com].
  • ... Burt Rutan thinks of this guy ... ?

    • by osu-neko ( 2604 )
      You know, I've always loved Burt Rutan, from the moment I first saw a Beechcraft Starship, and I still think he's the best and most brilliant designer around... but this guy looks like he has more fun. :)
  • That is outstanding, but the text in English is misleading. Loops implies a vertical circle. It appears that he either did rolls, or horizontal circles. Loops require a lot more lift to drag ratio and power to weight ratio than I suspect he has. Still, it is a fantastic flight. Keep it up!
  • Fantastic (Score:1, Redundant)

    by Lord Lode ( 1290856 )

    It must be an amazing experience to fly this thing. I wonder how he landed, with a regular parachute or not.

  • Discovery News has a great site. I had to keep refreshing to see all the potential "Discovery news...wants to ____________" headlines that pop up when it loads.

  • Not taking off (Score:5, Informative)

    by RPI Geek ( 640282 ) on Saturday November 06, 2010 @12:10PM (#34147538) Journal
    That is very cool, but it's not taking off. Taking off means starting from the ground, which still hasn't happened yet.

    Mayhaps a poor choice of words, disco_tracy.
    • I wonder if he just laid down on a skate board with a lot of road in front of him, could he take off?
  • So did he need to get any special clearance from the air traffic control in the area where he made his jump? Imagine that you are putting along in your Cessna, and this guy zooms by. It would scare the bejesus out of me.

    "Uh, Zurich control, this is flight DE1073. You're not going to believe this, but a guy with wings and a jet pack just flew by me!"

    "Here Zurich control, DE1073, you've been drinking, sir. Please land your plane as soon as possible."

    Man, I am really impressed with private innovation li

  • Holy crap!! That is just plain awesome!! I wish I could get me one of these suits!! haha Could you imagine that? That would be some Funny Shit [hahafunnyshit.com] right there haha
  • I get so damn sick of this time and again, and again and again...

    What Rossy has been doing with his rocket wing is cutting edge stuff, and cool as hell besides.

    But what we get from the media is exaggeration, and dare I say deliberate dishonesty...such that when you actually read the article it's disappointing instead of exciting. The term "wingsuit" means something...this isn't it. The term "loop" means something...this isn't it.

    Why can journalists not resist the temptation to exaggerate every da
    • by 0123456 ( 636235 )

      Why can journalists not resist the temptation to exaggerate every damn thing they report on?

      In journalism it's probably a good idea to never attribute to dishonesty something that can more readily be explained by ordinary everyday incompetence; my experience is that most journalists I've met couldn't tell a loop from a barrel roll even if they were sober at the time.

  • Lame... no offense but there are at least a half dozen guys here in America who actually have rockets(hydrogen peroxide) and can take off from ground to landing. As in flying across Hollywood boulevard and landing on a building across there.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PCEe7RH8A4 [youtube.com]

    Go Fast Jet Pack vs Ford Focus RS 2009
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmQ450ctKJs&feature=related [youtube.com]

    All that guy did was glide a little faster, too bad none of the reak 'GoFast Jimmmy Rocketman' wasn't featured here.

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